By on May 3, 2021

As if you needed more doom and gloom to kick off this week, the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) lobby has confessed that its fleet will go into the next few months operating well below capacity. That means there’s a very good chance that some parts of the country could see gas shortages over the summer. While we’re praying that this doesn’t come with with the deluge of less-than-desirable automobiles that followed the infamous 1973 oil crisis, a similar spike in fuel price is likely as gasoline becomes sporadically difficult to find.

With the United States technically still energy independent, the culprit is not a foreign oil embargo but our own inability to plan ahead. North America was already operating with a deficit of qualified tanker drivers ahead of the pandemic. Lockdowns suppressed demand as everyone was forced to remain immobile, suppressing demand that ultimately encouraged widespread layoffs and early retirement. Now there aren’t enough drivers as demand stabilizes. 

This is one of those problems that literally everyone should have seen coming unless they were operating under the assumption that lockdowns would continue in perpetuity. But here we are, with CNN breaking the story.

Drivers are required to have a commercial license but fuel transporters also have special certifications allowing them to move volatile materials using a specific class of vehicles. Once hired, most drivers will be subjected to additional training to prove they’re safe behind the wheel and versed in the latest safety protocols. Going through the entire process can take months and the industry is already operating at a deficit.

From CNN:

According to the National Tank Truck Carriers, the industry’s trade group, somewhere between 20 [percent] to 25 [percent] of tank trucks in the fleet are parked heading into this summer due to a paucity of qualified drivers. At this point in 2019, only 10 [percent] of trucks were sitting idle for that reason.

“We’ve been dealing with a driver shortage for a while, but the pandemic took that issue and metastasized it,” said Ryan Streblow, the executive vice president of the NTTC. “It certainly has grown exponentially.”

Indeed, drivers left the business a year ago when gasoline demand ground to a near halt during the early pandemic-related shutdowns.

With demand for drivers likewise screeching to a halt in 2020, many training schools were shuttered. January 2020 also introduced a federal audit that eliminated between 40,000 and 60,000 drivers from the national employment pool that had prior drug or alcohol convictions.

Retailers are becoming increasingly concerned over the possibility of outages, which we saw to a limited degree in places like Florida over spring break. Summer road trips should be even more taxing on the supply chain, with popular vacation spots likely to have the most trouble. But there are growling concerns that smaller stations in isolated communities will similarly be taking it on the chin.

“I’ve talked to retailers, they say there could be places where there are brief outages,” explained Jeff Lenard, spokesman at the National Association of Convenience Stores. “If they have no fuel, they have no business. People aren’t going to stop in for a sandwich if you don’t have fuel.”

Tanker firms are increasing pay in the hope that they’ll be able to retain drivers and encourage new blood to join up. But this is all going to trickle down to the people paying at the pump. In a worst-case scenario, we could even see sporadic outages and elevated fees lead to a run on fuel similar to the madness that engulfed toilet paper at the start of the pandemic. Considering fuel prices are already up 60 percent against this time in 2020 and COVID has kept everyone on edge for the last 13 months, it wouldn’t take much to create a national freakout that resulted in panic buying. However, tanker operators and industry analysts are only predicting short-term, sporadic outages and the national average climbing to $3 per gallon through the summer.

[Image: Marc Bruxelle/Shutterstock]

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88 Comments on “Summer Gas Shortage Likely for Dumbest Reason...”


  • avatar
    dwford

    This summer is going to be marked by price spikes, shortages, and long waits at understaffed establishments. Credit our short sightedness that kept the extra unemployment going until September, had rental car companies sell off their fleets to satisfy short term financing issues, etc etc.

    Stay local and chill. Let the economy flare up and cool back down from the comfort of your back yard. You don’t need anything and don’t need to go anywhere anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      SaulTigh

      The lesson here is never, EVER, shut down a “just in time” economy and you won’t have these problems.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      There are shortages in almost every trade requiring some form of formal qualification. Trucking is no different. Wages are poor and hours are long. It’s no wonder drivers don’t want to go back.

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        Don’t forget all kinds of venture capital and Silicon Valley money is out there actively working to put truckers out of work, permanently. Why should people enter a field that may not exist in the same form in 10 years?

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      Nah, I plan to travel. I’m not sitting around at home. Need to enjoy live before the Democrats completely destroy everything.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        That’s all they want. Nobody to have any sort of independence. The masks were just a social experiment to see how we would react to being under an oppressive thumb and sadly most people just went along with it like sheep.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    What happened to self driving trucks?

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Let me know when Amazon stops Free Prime Shipping…then we might have a crisis…otherwise adapt or die…

  • avatar

    I consider this as a good news. It will force more people to switch to EVs. I have nothing against forcing people to drive less and ride locally on bicycles.

    But I heard really troubling news about coming soon food shortages. I can imagine how it may turn out in less developing countries. We are talking about hunger here and increasing migration to norther countries.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “I consider this as a good news. It will force more people to switch to EVs”

      Not to say there isn’t any truth to it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was largely manufactured. Just over four months into regime change and all of the sudden there are commodity shortages left and right. How much is economics and how much is planned?

      “increasing migration to norther countries.”

      That’s called an invasion. I expect the junta in DC to surrender.

      • 0 avatar

        junta will fight with what we call “American people”. Invasion will bring freedom and prosperity.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        In virtually every sector workforces are aging and there aren’t enough trained workers to replace them.

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        ” How much is economics and how much is planned?”

        Most of it is planned. They couldn’t have their “Great Reset” without it. The plan, by their own admission — “by 2030 you’ll own nothing,” is to rob us of all we own and enslave us — everything you need will be rented — by making sure that it’s obey or starve right away since everything can be taken from you at the click of a mouse.

        This is greedy, power hungry people’s dream since about forever. To rule the whole world absolutely. A dream most people outgrow by the time they are ten or twelve, but some people never grow up.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Old_WRX

          “This is greedy, power hungry people’s dream since about forever. To rule the whole world absolutely.”

          But isn’t it makes easy for us the proles? We just have to do what we told and nothing we need to think about. They will do all the thinking for us.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            slavuta,

            “They will do all the thinking for us.”

            I know they are only doing this For-Our-Own-Good, but I really couldn’t put them to so much trouble over silly old me.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      >I consider this as a good news. It will force more people to switch to EVs.

      You obviously haven’t considered the following major issues:

      1) Insufficient infrastructure (will take decades to build a sufficient infrastructure to facilitate wider EV usage).
      2) Chip shortages

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “2) Chip shortages”

        There might actually be more “chips” in ICE vehicles. The body electronics, like infotainment, door locks, window motors will be the same. The EV has battery management and a driver for the drive motors. ICEs have complex emissions systems and transmissions that need electronic control. Far more sensors. Vacuum sensors, oxygen sensors, various temp sensors, the mass air sensor and fuel control. The transmission have complex control systems to pick the right gears.

        You could handle much of the EVs control with the same computer used for the body. Just need to add the MOS FET driver for the drive motor. No fuel system, induction, or transmission to manage that would require separate computers.

        Take a look at some of the Model 3s teardown videos like Sandy Munros. There’s only a couple of circuit boards.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          My transmission has a complex system involving the muscles in my left leg and right arm. Many vehicles have integrated ECM/BCM modules. The infotainment system in most vehicles is likely the most powerful processor in the car.

          A Tesla requires a processor to adjust the vents.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @Art: My latest info is that they’re using a relatively simple microcontroller. Something that doesn’t even run an RTOS like QNX. That info could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve heard. I’ve also heard they’ve designed around multiple parts so they can switch if needed. An STM32L010F4 or STM32H743VIT6 or Atmel AVR are examples. In fact, you could probably control the vents in the Model 3/Y with an 8 bit AVR easily. Some ICE cars like AUDI have complex vent systems as well, so Tesla isn’t alone in that regard.

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      Typical leftist way of thinking. Force people to purchase things against their will or their own judgment to control their lives. Big Daddy Government knows what’s best.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @teddy:

        But according to *your* side, Big Daddy Gubmint is perfectly OK to do things like regulate peoples’ sex lives, or requiring everyone to speak English, and making sure that the inalienable rights of a one-day-old zygote supersede the rights of a born, walking, talking adult female.

        Oh, yeah, and let’s not forget that “the right” apparently thinks it should be a crime to hand out water to people while they’re in line waiting to vote. Small government in action!

        Let me know when you guys are over that stuff, and then you can toss around the Big Gubmint argument all you please. Until then, you got nothin’.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          “crime to hand out water”

          You’re so brainwashed. I can see CNN footprint right on your forehead

          CNN: Georgia’s new election law prohibits giving food and water

          Reality: Section 33

          “No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector…

          This Code section shall not be construed to prohibit a poll officer from distributing materials, as required by law… or from making available self-service water from an unattended receptacle to an elector waiting in line to vote.”

          So, you can have your water but you can’t get it as a gift from partizan solicitors.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Wow, someone told me that people can’t type after getting electroshock therapy. Thank God you proved them all wrong. Bless you.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            slavuta, do you sincerely think you answered freed’s point about handing out water?

            “No person shall give any gifts, including drink.” Sounds plain as day to me. You’re saying it’s not a ban because they only banned water that’s handed out for free by liberals?

            Do you really believe what you write, or are you getting spiffed $5 a post to argue with anything a liberal says?

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            tonycd

            I copied/pasted Georgia law. Not sure how it makes difference between liberals vs others. Law is same for all and I see no problem with it. ‘Freed’ only talks like CNN headlines. I go to the source of the discussion. And note – for free. Now, what is your point? That I argue only with liberals? No, I argue only with those who knows subject on a headlines level. Trying bring light into the dark room.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          What, Mike, all that came to your head is “shock therapy”? – Normal leftist. Nothing to say that has any basis to it.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            ” Normal leftist. Nothing to say that has any basis to it.”

            Yeah, really. The left has excelled at that above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty lately. Water is probably racist, now.

            Besides the term “electroshock therapy” is outdated. The current term is “electroconvulsive therapy.”

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      “…consider this good news, it will force people to switch to EVs…”

      If there is a switch, maybe a few dozen will switch.

      Most of the remaining 200 million motorists will rush to top off their tanks–and that spike in demand would break the retail system on a good day, without any real shock, and with fuel truck drivers.

      Gov Cuomo, who apparently never met an ass he didn’t like, and stoically fought the pandemic by sending COVID elderly to nursing homes and lying about it just presided over the closure of Indian River nuclear powerplant.

      Good luck making up for all that lost electricity.

      You think fuel shortages will help EV sales. I think a potential lack of gasoline, or electricity, could the spark that ignites the tinder box call the USA.

      And I would not want to be in NYC when the power fails due to AC use this summer—google the 1977 blackout, which I watched from a safe distance, a several dozen miles away, when the TV came back on…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Planned rolling brownouts will prevent a repeat of 1977’s NYC blackout. Welcome to Kali, New Yorkers.

        “just presided over the closure of Indian River nuclear powerplant.”

        Its Indian Point, and Unit 2 and 3 first came online in 1974 and 1976 respectively. The reactors were originally intended for a 20 year service life and had Three Mile Island not occurred, the units would have likely been shut down and rebuilt or replaced in a normal lifespan. But that didn’t happen, so these earlier generation units stayed in operation for several decades and are starting to be shut down all over. These units need to be shut down for reasons of age alone, the problem is the mismanagement of the industry (and waste disposal) going back decades means there is no direct replacement for them.

        From an replacement of capacity standpoint, renewable is a pipe dream. The short term move will be natural gas plants but this is only an option because of widespread fracking. Long term, there is no plan and what will happen is a reduction in electricity production. This may seem counter to the EV obsession, but its really not as the red aristocracy does not intend for the proles to have private transportation.

        • 0 avatar
          tomLU86

          @28-cars

          Thanks, what you say makes sense. I thought that nuke plants’ “planned life” was 30-40 years, and the Indian River plant seemed old to me–but here we are in 2021, and the plant had several supporters.

          I was in jr high in Long Island, when “The China Syndrome” came out, coincidentally with TMI, coincidentally with a proposed/planned nuke plant for Shoreham LI, which was not far from where we lived. It never saw the light of day, and the costs associated with it helped drive LILCO (LI lighting co) to bankruptcy.

          I think if Americans live like Rumanians, circa 1980, we can attain the President’s goal of 52% less CO2 by 2030.

          However, Americans circa 1980 were not as tough as Rumanians. Those Americans were not as tough as Americans in 1957–though the Americans of 1980 were tougher than Americans of today (foreign-born undocumenteds excepted), even if they drove fewer full-size pick-up trucks.

          In fact, I just realized, the level of comforts in US pick-ups is inversely related to the toughness of Americans!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I can’t recall (or seem to find) the exact term, but the reactor pressure vessel is slowly damaged over time and was eventually intended to be replaced in the original designs. If you examine the Gen 1 reactors, many were shut down after their replacement was operational at about 15-20 years in service. I’m sure the NRC has studied this and perhaps something was able to be done to extend the reactor pressure vessel lifespan beyond the original intended period, but the interwebs are saying 40+ year old reactors could run another 40 years – I just don’t believe that.

            Then of course spent fuel pools just sitting on site instead of reprocessing, burial, or both. On this front, President Carter is 100% at fault but curiously the now seven presidents since have failed to reverse his mistake turning plants into environmental bombs waiting to go off.

            “On April 7, 1977, President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would defer indefinitely the reprocessing of spent nuclear reactor fuel. He stated that after extensive examination of the issues, he had reached the conclusion that this action was necessary to reduce the serious threat of nuclear weapons proliferation, and that by setting this example, the U. S. would encourage other nations to follow its lead.

            President Carter’s Executive Order also announced that the U. S. would sponsor an international examination of alternative fuel cycles, seeking to identify approaches which would allow nuclear power to continue without adding to the risk of nuclear proliferation. More than thirty nations participated over almost three years. But no new magic answer could be found.

            Some other nations went ahead with reprocessing and breeder development, but high costs and loss of political support delayed plans in many nuclear projects around the world. The U. S. never regained its technological lead in nuclear energy development, its own nuclear power program had already gone from orders to cancellations, and the dream of long-term future energy security from breeder reactors faded away. The three years of uncertainty about the future had wiped away further prospects for private investments in the nuclear fuel cycle. Today, twenty years later, all U.S. spent fuel remains in storage at each plant where it was used.”

            https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/reaction/readings/rossin.html

            The junta in DC is certainly out to decrease American living standards but I don’t believe they would go as far as the 1980 Eastern Bloc, at least on purpose. I agree Americans of today are not as tough as their predecessors which fits in well with the junta’s plans between now and 2030.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          When a politician that can only serves at most 8 years proposes something 10 years down the road, the takeaway is they have no intention of actually doing it.

          Democrats have an incredible advantage right now due to Trump dividing the Republican party. One way to squander that is to price energy to a point that it adversely effects people’s economic state. Politicians primarily want to get reelected. That would be a way not to.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree, and this applies to all of them for decades past.

            “One way to squander that is to price energy to a point that it adversely effects people’s economic state. Politicians primarily want to get reelected. That would be a way not to.”

            You just answered your own question – “reelected”. You assume there will be competitive elections in the future. Even prior to the 2020 Plandemic the Dims had 2024 pretty much locked up, even if they ran Mondale/Ferraro the Sequel as they did in 2020 (it was almost a dare, they ran the worst candidates possible). That wasn’t good enough, and here we are in a place where I doubt there will ever be a competitive or truthful national election ever again.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @Art: neither Democrats nor Republicans “price” energy – the market does.

            In fact, if I was being conspiratorial, I’d actually blame the people who produce and distribute energy. Why? Because we both know what political party they prefer, and they also know that people labor under a false assumption that gas prices are set by the White House. Therefore, pumping up gas prices to hurt the party they don’t like and help the one they do makes a ton of sense, doesn’t it?

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          “does not intend for the proles to have private transportation”

          Yup, they’ll herd us into public trans with electric cattle prods….but, strictly for our own good (at least that is what CNN and NYT and CBS and MSNBC will tell us).

          Like I said above, they have already told us that they intend to rob us of everything we own in the next nine years.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          I agree there is no plan, and that’s the problem.

          I do NOT agree that “renewables are a pipe dream.” In fact, it’s been widely and reputably reported (don’t trust me, search it for yourself) this year that the price of renewable energy has now dipped permanently below the cost of fossil fuels. Only the massive direct and indirect subsidies to the fossil fuel industry are standing in the way of a massive move to renewables.

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesellsmoor/2019/06/15/renewable-energy-is-now-the-cheapest-option-even-without-subsidies/?sh=7d51d9d65a6b

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      “But I heard really troubling news about coming soon food shortages.”

      I consider this to be good news. I have nothing against forcing people to source food locally/grow their own and thus eat healthier and lower healthcare costs.

      Is that how that works?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      “It will force more people to switch to EVs.”

      Thanks a lot, bro. This means that more nuclear energy (eventually). And US has a crazy habit to store nuclear waste in Ukraine. New repository just opened at…. Chernobyl

    • 0 avatar
      2manycars

      That’s a nice little Stalin. “Force” people against their will to do something that YOU think should be done. Will you start a five-year-plan to accomplish your goals, Comrade? Refuseniks to be sent to Siberia perhaps?

      There is not a reason in the world to switch to electric vehicles. I refuse to do so, and I’m not the only one by a long shot. There is no “climate crisis” – “climate change” is due to our emergence from the Little Ice Age over the last century, not due to anything humans are doing. (Human activity amounts to less than farting into a hurricane compared to the forces of nature. We cannot control the earth’s climate, we can only adapt to it.)

      The truly laughable thing is that people who drink your kind of kool-aid and make the switch will find life interesting when the rolling blackouts start. (Oh, those commercial rooftop solar panels? They won’t power your house or car, they feed power back into the grid, as people in the Soviet State of California learned the hard way during their rolling blackouts.)

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        2manycars

        your first paragraph was very promising, I even got attracted. However, don’t underestimate comrade’s sarcastic abilities.
        Looks like US adapting well – SSCA, PRC… Peoples Republic of Cambridge.

        There is nothing wrong with electric cars and buses. What is wrong is how the government allocates money into companies that are ran by their friends.
        If you live and drive in the city, electric is probably a good thing. When I was in Prague, the air there was horrible because of all the diesel exhaust. But for rural and suburban people this is not always a good choice. I am more afraid of the jobs implications of electric cars. Imagine all the components, services and maintenance that will no longer be needed. Like fuel station technician. Or the very truck that delivers it. Mechanics. All the special engine tools will be gone. And our government does not have 5 years plan and it should! These jerks want to fight with climate change and bring more people who will be consumers of more energy, etc that they wouldn’t consume in the native countries. Also, they fight cars but I’ve read that a medium size dog consumes food and services during lifetime that cost same as to produce a medium SUV. If these jerks had a plan, they would stop immigration and allow only most needed professionals. Limit number of pets, build infrastructure, etc. We need to cut down on population anyways because more automation is coming and what are you gonna do with excess of people? What have you said about Stalin?

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Drove ~500 miles this past weekend (first time in a long time) and saw a news article about the tanker truck driver shortage – so I half-seriously looked into how much it would pay (could be an interesting thing to do for awhile). Learned that drivers carrying hazardous loads are the most-qualified and get paid the most.

    So… to the driver of the tanker truck cruising in my blind spot [for no good reason – I didn’t change speed, and there are no other drivers near us] in the left lane [of two lanes] on I-65 in Alabama (yeah, I know – the ‘rules’ are all different in Alabama) and carrying “Anhydrous Ammonia” per the placard [“extremely hazardous substance” says U.S. EPA], it might interest you to know that this is not my car. It belongs to my oldest kid (who just graduated) and we swapped cars temporarily because the right rear tire was destroyed [screw in tread -> slow deflation -> shredded sidewall] and this tire is brand new BUT the rear ‘alignment’ is still super-wonky (and the left rear tire is a little iffy), so you might want to consider the elevated risks at this moment of which you are completely unaware. [To summarize, you are an embarrassment to your profession and if you learned to drive, we’d all be safer.]

    Life Tip: After driving from the hinterlands to the nearest town with a wholesale club (where your tire warranty is valid), it might take three hours to fit your vehicle into the service bay on a busy Saturday morning. But if you pack your floor jack, impact wrench, torque wrench and coveralls and roll just the tire and wheel up to the door, the very helpful manager can mount and balance your new tire himself in about 20 minutes. (When packing, don’t forget your nitrile gloves – and a contractor trash bag to carry that dirty wheel and tire in while you cruise [briefly] on the temporary spare.)

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “I consider this as a good news. It will force more people to switch to EVs. I have nothing against forcing people to drive less and ride locally on bicycles.”

    We can become the old China where we all ride bicycles. Reverse Capitalism.

  • avatar

    The comment on increasing wages to attract drivers brought to mind something a friend told me about. He works in the fast food industry. His stores are delivery only (pizza) so other than the poor decisions made in response to COVID which has made it possible to ‘earn’ more on unemployment than employed, he has gotten by even though he is challenged by finding people to work for him – kitchen, delivery, phone/online orders, etc. He told me of a friend in FL who owns a restaurant who was having similar issues finding folks for wait staff. This was the offer in response to that need: $20/hour, keep all your tips, $300/month housing allowance for PT – $600/month housing allowance for FT. The result: ZERO applications. COVID response fallout?

    The thought that this may be ‘manufactured’ carries some weight certainly. The fact that, contrary to what the current administration is touting, recovery from lockdown and the unreasonable fear perpetuated on the populace is going to take much longer to recover from than what ‘they’ are saying it will take. Had the choice been made to allow those at least risk to continue their lives normally, not locked down nearly all business and disrupt the economy, we would not be in these dire straits. It ain’t gonna turn on a dime. A pandemic is NOT responsible, people in power making poor decisions in response to the pandemic ARE.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @THX: Restaurant/food service jobs are crap jobs usually filled by students and immigrants. No one else wants them. Who wants your friends crappy $40k wages when you can take courses to go into healthcare or become an auto tech for more money? I saw a small shop near me offering $80k a year for auto techs. Immigration has been cut, so there are fewer people to fill the crap jobs.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Just pay better wages. It isn’t the fault of unemployment insurance. Students and imigrants tend to be fodder for sh!t jobs.

      • 0 avatar

        @ Lou: agree with the better wages thought. I thought $20/hr, plus all tips, plus a monthly housing allowance of $300 PT/$600 FT was a very attractive offer to have received no applications. Assuming FT=35 hrs/wk and PT=21 hrs/wk that comes out to roughly $1025/wk ($53300/yr) for FT and $600/wk ($31200/yr) PT wages for waiting tables. I would like to make that much a year myself (currently $51k on 2 incomes).

        I based my unemployment comment on reports early on of folks making more on UI than they made at the job they no longer worked at due to lock downs. I am guessing you would say that is a poor assumption – and a point well taken by myself. A sincere thanks for your comment.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @THX1136 – the whole issue is much more complex than wages.

          There are those that believe any unemployment benefits or social assistance is wrong because it discourages work or it should be very low. In some cases, people will take the easy way out but the flip side are workers being exploited.

          Another issue right now is fear of contracting COVID-19. Many in low wage/low skill jobs don’t have healthcare coverage. They don’t want to risk their health for low wages. Universal Healthcare would help encourage people to work.

          Another issue is that successful previous generations have coddled/spoiled their children. They expect big wages for little effort.

          My apologies for being overly simplistic in my original comment.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      Thank you THX1136 (not 1138..)!

      I take COVID seriously. I oppose the “mandatory” closures of edicts. But personally, I avoid unnecessary contact. That means I spend less money.

      Just because some politician (aka Duh Blahs, NYC mayor, says “July 1 we open”, doesn’t mean I will eagerly jump into a packed plane to go to the packed center of the pandemic on that day (but not on June 29).

      I hope you are correct that it “ain’t gonna turn happen on a dime”, but the economy “turns”–I don’t assume that’s a foregone conclusion. Many things that changed as result of the lockdowns and restrictions will not be changing back to the way they were.

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    “With the United States technically still energy independent” Until the puppet masters controlling the dementia patient in the White House have their way and completely destroy our oil industry and prevent us from extracting the oil and natural gas under our feet. You people voted for these dangerous clowns…reap the rewards.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Summer Gas Shortage Likely for Dumbest Reason”

    By “presidential” decree?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m sure Biden knows higher gas prices make him a shoo-in come 2024, right?

      How about this as an alternative conspiracy theory: energy producers are huge GOP supporters, and they know people are uninformed enough to actually believe that the president sets gas prices from the Oval Office, so what better way to screw the Democrats than to manipulate the market into higher prices?

      You tell me which conspiracy theory makes more sense.

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        Gas shortages and chaos could be used to invoke martial law, and enforce it in red areas (we’ve all seen how violent protesters went unchallenged in 2020–in blue areas).

        The Federal government could direct the allocation of fuel to Blue areas vs Red areas.

        Based on your reasoning that energy producers support GOP, the Pres and his party can blame the “greedy oil companies” (isn’t that what they did in 1973? I wasn’t here then).

        Already, the “polls” and narrative have us believe that Republican “rank and file” support the President’s “infrastructure” plans, unlike the “Washington Republicans”. Completely false. But, as Jim Carville has noted, Biden doesn’t need middle America to govern–if he can improve his party from 20% to 30% of working-class white vote, with his lock on the Dem core constituencies, plus all the “new Americans” they will allow, they can control things. So, they toss “free” childcare and community college to this group, and reduce their dispopularity.

        The GOP has more negatives than can be contained in this website. For people who work (in real jobs, not manipulating financial assets) AND pay taxes, the Democrats have many more negatives than the GOP. THe things Trump did wrong, Biden is tripling down on. The things Trump did well, Biden is messing up.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          @tomLU86

          AFAIK the emergency orders invoked by President Trump are still in effect. National Guard troops are under the command of their governors but unlike Trump I would expect a Biden Administration to drop the hammer if it forwarded their goals. On the plus side US State Media may not glamorize rioting on Biden’s watch.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @tom:

          The trip to Alex Jones-ville aside, 1973 was a different matter – there was a real shortage because foreign countries decided to export less oil to us. There really was a shortage of gas as a result. But no one ever declared martial law over that, and no one’s going to declare martial law if gas lines start up this summer either.

          • 0 avatar
            tomLU86

            @FreedMike

            I remember the expression “Greedy Oil Companies” as a kid.

            I did not say there was martial law in 1973.

            I suggested that it is a possibility–the govt will use any pretext on any thing at any time to get more power, so that it can “help us” do the right thing.

            The National Guard did make an appearance in several US cities in 1967, and I think in LA in 1991. When the Guard is on the street and there is a curfew, is that not martial law?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        1. Its May of 2021, Nov. 5 2024 is a long way away – Americans have a short memory.

        2. Biden himself will not be running in 2024, whether for obvious health reasons or death in office.

        3. Prior to 2020, the Dims had 2024 locked and probably beyond due to their strategy of protecting/allowing illegals along with political divide and conquer of actual citizens. In short, it was already known there will be no more competitive national elections after 2020. What is to stop them from implementing radical policy in some areas from now to 2028?

        4. Biden, because of his health, is not solely running his presidency and he is aware of this. If a consensus tells him you do X, Y, and Z because we are trying to destroy, err reshape, American energy I doubt very much there will be pushback from a feeble old man (this assumes they don’t dangle his obviously criminal and incompetent son as leverage which is even easier).

        Generally speaking, I do wonder when “the people” start calling him “president shortage” which along with a huge debt bill is the only thing the administration has delivered so far.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Look at this, quote:

          “- Discrimination which, through a certain anti-racism, is displayed with a single goal: to create on our soil a malaise, even hatred between the communities. Today some speak of racialism, indigenism and decolonial theories, but, through these terms, it is the racial war that these hateful and fanatic partisans want. They despise our country, its traditions, its culture, and want to see it dissolve by taking away its past and its history. Thus they attack, through statues, ancient military and civilian glories by analyzing words that are centuries old.
          . . . .
          – Discrimination because hatred takes precedence over fraternity during demonstrations where the power uses the police as an auxiliary agent and scapegoat …. This while infiltrated and hooded individuals ransack businesses and threaten these same police forces. Yet the latter only apply the directives, sometimes contradictory, given by you, the rulers.
          . . . . . . . .

          However, we, servants of the Nation, who have always been ready to put our skin at the end of our engagement – as our military state demanded, cannot be passive spectators in the face of such actions. So those who lead our country must imperatively find the courage necessary to eradicate these dangers.
          . . . . .
          if nothing is done, laxity will continue to spread inexorably in society, ultimately causing an explosion and the intervention of our active comrades in a perilous mission of protecting our civilizational values ​​and safeguarding of our compatriots on the national territory.

          As we can see, it is no longer time to procrastinate otherwise, tomorrow the civil war will put an end to this growing chaos, and the deaths, for which you will bear the responsibility, will number in the thousands. ”

          What do you think this is? Is it about America?
          No, this a letter French military wrote to Macron few days back. I hope they show us the way out of left crap.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            “through these terms, it is the racial war that these hateful and fanatic partisans want”

            As in Kendi and DiAngelo and their follower/proponents with their bizarre (and false) Critical Race Theory, etc.?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @28:

          1) November 1, 2022 is the next election.
          2) OK, let’s say Biden doesn’t run. He won’t want to destroy his party either.
          3) I don’t know what Biden’s health has to do with gas prices.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            1. Biden is not up for reelection in 2022. Your implication was it not to be wise for Biden to p!ss off the electorate, but he cannot be held accountable until 2024 and the voters will not remember his mistakes from the Summer of 2021.
            2. He won’t be able to run, and I don’t think he cares much.
            3. Assuming an actual election, from 2024 onward Biden’s party can’t really lose. What’s to stop them from doing whatever they want? Any one party state tends to go to extremes.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    I must have missed it but why exactly having a shortage of drivers a “dumb reason? Is it the draconian lockdowns that led to this dumb? Is it the special certifications needed that are dumb as well?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Read the story.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Talk to literally any independent truck driver.

      They can’t compete. They are getting out. The pay has been cut so low they can’t even maintain their trucks.

      Talk to any Trump-supporting independent truck that hasn’t given up yet. They’ll explain it to you. There is no highway out there left.

      Then talk to them about the national carriers like Swift and if they want to work for them.

      You know what might work? Pay people what they are worth and so they can cover their basic expenses?

      Oh wait, sorry, sorry, that socialism.

      I’m old enough to remember when that was a core American principle.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        I am reflexively anti-union for city and state government (public safety workers excepted), but it’s quite clear that unions are needed for this type of work. Crappy pay and unrealistic timing needs to get addressed.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        Paying people what they’re worth is not socialism. It’s capitalism. Socialism is taking from someone successful and giving it to someone who isn’t successful.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Socialism is the theory that everyone draws from “the system” what they “need”. Some people “need” more so the draw more. Success or status isn’t a metric used in a socialist system.

          Unfortunately we have those like flex who have a very poor understanding of politic and/or socioeconomic systems posting their feeble faux definitions.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          EBflex, you don’t believe that the imbalance of power between a big rig driver and a company like Swift is out of whack and is distorting the market pay rate for drivers?

          It’s the same thing that happened with Wal-Mart destroying small businesses and what Amazon is doing today to brick and mortar business. Big business dictating the cost.

          I’m all for capitalism without a big company’s thumb on the scale, which is what we have today.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    @FreedMike, re Alex Jones

    I remember the expression “Greedy Oil Companies” as a kid.

    I did not say there was martial law in 1973.

    I suggested that it is a possibility in the current political climate.
    The govt will use any pretext on any thing at any time to get more power, so that it can “help us” do the right thing.

    The National Guard did make an appearance in several US cities in 1967, and I in LA in 1991. When the Guard is on the street and there is a curfew, is that not martial law?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      tomLU86

      when the national guard is at work in Russia – this is martial law. In US, UK, France, Poland, Germany – this is democracy at work.

      Worst nightmare when someone knocking at your door and says, “hello, I am from the government and I am here to help you”
      ———— Ronald Reagan

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Ronald Reagan

        Who gave you the form I-9 and the entire government machine behind it but hey, I’m the government, and I’m here to help…

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Guess what… thousands if not millions work without I-9 and don’t pay taxes. I think, I paid so much money for that paper, they could give me a nice kickback. And a bottle of French Cognac.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Warning the truckers that ARE WORKING, are being totally OVERWORKED and OVERWHELMED. I know one of them. He has been working 16 to 20 hour days. Day after day. COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE! They are not be properly monitored by the government.
    If you see a tank truck, stay as far away as you can…for your life!

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