Shortage May Take Weeks To End


{pic from here, accompanied by cool poem}

Via Ashvegas comes this excellent Christian Science Monitor article on our gas shortage. It even has some info bolstering the libertarian arguments for allowing price gouging:

“The effects of hurricane Ike largely emptied two critical gasoline pipelines that feed much of the South, leading to widespread panic-buying, shuttered pumps, and even some fistfights as motorists vied for precious drops of gas from Anniston, Ala., to Asheville, N.C.

Although public officials called for calm, promising quick relief, experts such as Atlanta gasoline distributor Tex Pitfield said it could actually take another two weeks for supplies to ramp up.”
“tough stances on price gouging may have exacerbated the shortage as jobbers focused on getting gas to areas that were easier – and cheaper – to reach. Without financial incentive to get to outlying areas, those pumps simply remained dry.

That’s what seems to have happened in the mountain city of Asheville, N.C. With many independent dealers and jobbers facing long distances over steep grades, distributors with limited supplies chose their routes based on what was expedient – and profitable.

As a result, the city of Asheville cancelled several events. Landscapers, florists, and plumbers all declined work for lack of gas.”

After the staged outrage festival press conference today, there are whispers of increased delieries to our area, but the proof will be in the puddin’.

Categories : Energy


  1. Arratik says:

    I stumbled upon this a few minutes ago, from WBIR-TV (Knoxville, TN):

    Pilot Travel Centers will ship gasoline from a storage facility in Knoxville into Western North Carolina, at the request of U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler. The shipment will allow public schools in North Carolina to remain open.

    David Dobbins, Pilot’s director of supply and distribution, said a tanker truck holding 8,000 gallons of fuel will leave a Middlebrook Pike storage facility and head to Asheville on Thursday. This gas will fuel the area’s school buses.

    Dobbins said Shuler’s office is coordinating the arrangements.

    “There is virtually no gas in Western North Carolina,” said James A. Haslam III, CEO of Pilot. “Congressman Shuler contacted us and said schools would have to be shut down because there is not enough gas to run the school buses. We agreed to help by sending over some of the gas we have here in Knoxville.”

    Dobbins said that Pilot will send another 8,000 gallons into the same area on Friday if necessary. He said sending the gas to North Carolina will not cause Pilot to run out of gas at its Knoxville locations.

    Congressman Shuler, a former star quarterback for the University of Tennessee football team, has a close relationship with Pilot and the Haslam family.

    It may be worth mentioning here that Pilot is currently under investigation for price gouging in the wake of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

  2. Low Key says:

    Is the shortage spreading?

    Last week it was just metro Asheville that experienced shortages. Now the entire region seems to have problems.

  3. shadmarsh says:

    which type of intervention is already responsible for exacerbating a mild, short-term tightening of supply.

    In your opinion you mean.

    His focus is entirely misguided. He should pivot and take a look at the myriad interferences by governments that set in motion the domino effect of economic error.

    Such as? I only ask because a myriad is quite a few.

  4. bobaloo says:

    Shuler personally escorting a tanker of gas to WNC?
    Grandstandingly awesome. Ash has it:

    It would be even more awesome if he had “Flight of the Valkyries” playing from a loudspeaker on top of the tanker.

  5. RHS says:

    Wow! That’s the kind of photo op Carl Mumpower would sing “The Internationale” to get!

  6. Gordon Smith says:

    Now that’s campaigning!!!

  7. He’ll probably be driving his Hummer…

  8. Gordon Smith says:

    City of Asheville press release sent over by Hooligan, Arwen Hawes:

    ASHEVILLE-In response to the current uncertainty of the fuel supply in Western North Carolina, City Manager Gary Jackson has called for full implementation of phase two of the accelerated fuel conservation operational plan for city government. The second phase of the plan will not interrupt police, fire and rescue, transit, and sanitation services.

    Non-public safety facilities will be closed to walk-in customers on Friday, Sept. 26 and Monday Sept. 29, including City Hall; howeverminimal staff will be accessible by email and telephone. All Parks and Recreational facilities will be closed Thursday, Sept. 25-Sept. 29 including the weekend, except after school child care services will operate normal hours from 2-6 p.m. The Asheville Civic Centerwill not be cancelling events and will only be closed on Friday, Sept. 26. All non-public safety facilities will re-open on Tuesday, Sept. 30. At no point will police, fire and rescue, transit, and sanitation services be closed for service.

    “By limiting the hours of services, the city is leading conservation efforts within our community,” stated Mayor Terry Bellamy. “We also continue to encourage transit ridership, and are stepping up patrol at gas stations. Our goal is safety first.”

    In addition Mayor Bellamy stated, “I am also requesting better management at the gas pumps. I’d like to see limits on retail gas purchases to increase availability to more citizens.”

    The city manager had previously implemented the first level of an accelerated fuel conservation operational plan that called for deferment of city travel and delay in some maintenance operations. To support additional conservation efforts, employees in non-public safety and transit service areas were encouraged to telecommute, use annual leave time, and carpool with other employees where possible. In support of the modified level all athletic and evening programs sponsored by the city were cancelled.

    The city encourages citizens to visit for the most up to date information about the fuel shortage, helpful links in locating gas, and information on city departments.