Delaware General Assembly






WHEREAS, I, Sherman W. Tribbitt, Governor of the State of Delaware, did on November 21, 1973, proclaim that a state of Emergency existed within the entire State of Delaware by reason of an impending or actual acute shortage of useable energy reserves; and

WHEREAS, in light of that crisis and in conjunction with the proclaiming of the State of Emergency, the 127th General Assembly, on November 19, 1973, by virtue of the passage of Volume 59, Laws of Delaware, Chapter 225, as amended, authorized and empowered the Governor to promulgate reasonable orders, rules and regulations as he deemed necessary, to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and to bring the emergency situation under control within the acknowledged limitation of his powers as one Governor of one State; and

WHEREAS, Volume 59, Laws of Delaware, Chapter 225, as amended, authorizes the Governor to, inter alia, establish and implement standards for the conservation and consumption of energy reserves as well as modify existing standards and requirements affecting the use of energy reserves; and

WHEREAS, acute shortages of gasoline throughout Delaware have resulted in panic buying by consumers and extremely long lines at gasoline stations; and

WHEREAS, the power of the individual states is limited since this problem is one of national dimensions and only the strongest and most decisive action by the Federal Government can effect its resolution; and

WHEREAS, in the absence of federal action, State action is required in this grave situation to insure a more equitable distribution of gasoline resources among users in Delaware;

WHEREAS, the purpose of this Proclamation is to reissue Delaware's Mandatory Gasoline Rationing Program, issued on March 22, 1974, and make a necessary change by suspending the odd-even system established thereunder on a trial basis.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sherman W. Tribbitt, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Delaware, determine that the following is reasonable and necessary in view of the emergency situation, and do hereby order and declare as follows:



1. Definitions

(A) "Gasoline" means a mixture of volatile hydro-carbons with boiling points ranging from 140 degrees to 390 degrees fahrenheit and whose source is distillation of petroleum and cracking polymerization and other chemical reactions by which naturally occurring petro-hydrocarbons are converted to those having superior properties.

(B) "Motor Vehicle" means all vehicles propelled otherwise than by muscular power except such vehicles as are operated on rails or tracks.

(C) "Retail Dealer" means any person or entity engaging in the practice of selling motor gasoline from a fixed location such as a service station, filling station, store or garage directly into the service tank of any motor vehicle propelled by motor gasoline.

(D) "Small Car" means a small, compact or foreign car, and for the purpose of paragraphs III (A) 2 and III (A) 4 is one with a gasoline tank capacity of 13 gallons or less. All other vehicles shall be considered 'large' cars for the purpose of paragraphs III (A) 1 and III (A) 4 hereof.

II. Retail Dealers

(A) Minimum Purchases. No owner or operator of a motor vehicle shall purchase or attempt to purchase gasoline from a retail dealer at less than the following minimum purchase requirements:

(1) No operator of a large vehicle as defined herein shall purchase gasoline for less than three dollars ($3.00).

(2) No operator of a small vehicle as defined herein shall purchase gasoline for less than two dollars ($2.00).

(3) Retail dealers shall prominently display appropriate sign or signs to provide adequate notice to operators of motor vehicles who may be prospective customers of the minimum purchase requirements established hereunder.

(4) Retail dealers shall permit customers to buy at least the minimum purchase established by subparagraphs 1 and 2 hereof. Whether retail dealers permit customers to purchase in excess of the established minimums is left to the discretion of the individual retail dealers.

(0) In the event a purchaser violates the minimum purchase requirements established hereunder, the retail dealer shall not be permitted to retain the difference between the cost of the actual purchase and the applicable minimum.

(B) When a retail station is about to exhaust its supply and there is a line of motor vehicles awaiting service, the owner or operator shall place a sign near the rear of the last vehicle he reasonably expects to be able to service containing the words "Last Car for Gas".

(C) Retail Dealers shall sell, as near as practical, an equal amount of gasoline each day of the month the dealer is in operation.

(D) No person shall threaten, interfere, or attempt to interfere, with a retail dealer with respect to compliance with the provisions of this Proclamation.

III. Penalties

Pursuant to Section 3128, Chapter 31, Title 20, Delaware Code, any person who violates any provision of this order shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished in the discretion of the Court.

IV. Effective Date

This Order shall be effective immediately following its consideration by the Joint Legislative Committee or at 12:01 A.M., Friday, May 10, 1974, whichever occurs later, at which time all previous Proclamations dealing with Delaware's Mandatory Gasoline Rationing Program shall be rescinded.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, SHERMAN W. TRIBBITT, Governor of the State of Delaware, have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the said State to be hereunto affixed at Dover this 9th day of May

(GREAT SEAL) in the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the one hundred and ninety-eighth.


Attest: ROBERT H. REED, Secretary of State