Gas Panic Spreads Across the South

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
gas panic spreads across the south

CNN reports that Nashville, TN has run out of gas, after local motorists became convinced that the city was running out of gas, which it then did. “Everybody has just gone nuts,” Mike Williams, executive director of the Tennessee Petroleum Council, told the network. Williams said drivers were bird-dogging gas trucks and lines at some stations were “a mile long.” He said fuel was continuing to enter the city; pipelines were working and barges were coming in. Stories on iReport (take that as you will) chronicle shortages in Asheville, NC, Marietta, GA and Buckhead. Speaking to Forbes, Carol Gifford from the AAA Carolinas office said that some stations may be totally out of gas, while others may have trouble getting certain grades of gasoline. “So what motorists see, is a gas station that once had an outage now has gas. They only have it for a day or so, and then they are out again. That will probably continue until more refineries are back up and operating,” Gifford said. As TTAC pointed-out after hurricane Katrina knocked-out refineries, the big problem is that there’s no one federal standard for gasoline blends. A patchwork of state mandates guarantees supply disruptions when refining capacity is curtailed. Way to go regulators.

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  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Sep 23, 2008

    While visiting Durham NC area weekend before last, could only get 10 gallons.

  • Blautens Blautens on Sep 23, 2008

    The Palm Beach County Costcos are banning the filling of boats (which is a big part of their business) and limiting people to one gas can, but no limit on filling autos.

  • Samuel L. Bronkowitz Samuel L. Bronkowitz on Sep 23, 2008

    Classic "bank run" mentality at work. I regularly get text messages from others here in Marietta announcing that a station has gas and that I'd better get out and get some before it's too late. Sadly, this problem (like many others in our nation) could have been minimized or avoided by some mature, forward-looking leadership from Washington over the last 20 years. Even though there are no quick-fixes for today, let's hope we're smart enough to lay the groundwork now for the *next* 20 years.

  • Mikeolan Mikeolan on Sep 23, 2008

    Right now it's not even hoarding or panic. There simply is no gas, and this is over a week after Ike hit. I filled up before the Ike-hike struck (we were seeing $5.00/gal gas) and needed to fill up again on Sunday night. The first four gas stations I approached (including Wal-Mart and Ingles) had *no* gas. I finally found one that *only* had Regular. There are some serious infrastructure issues. Ironically, relatives living up north (who usually pay way more for gas) and got hit by the winds of Ike's aftermath saw little change.