Thursday, September 01, 2005

No Shortage, OK?

I was just poking around the referral logs and see that a few folks are showing up here because they are searching some variation of "gas shortage Memphis."

As far as I know, and this comes from the AAA, via AM600 radio, there are no citywide shortages of gasoline. OK? None. What is happening is that panic buying is causing gas stations with low stocks to sell out faster than usual. Remember, these people run JIT (just-in-time) inventories on gasoline, meaning they only keep enough in their in-ground tanks to handle a regular few days' worth of business. If lots of people suddenly show up topping off their tanks, then naturally the extra sales will cause them to run out.

Don't panic. Gasoline prices are rising -- I wouldn't be surprised now to see $3.70 to $4.00 gas by mid-next week -- which will depress usage. Slightly lower demand will help. Blow off unneeded trips. Plan where you are going and only go where you need to. Stock up on things you can, to cut down on trips. Let nature take its course and things will balance out.

Last I heard, the refineries down in Louisiana weren't badly damaged and will be back within a month. I'm sure the government will be making that happen, too.

Chill. This isn't a replay of the oil and gas crisis of the Seventies, it's a temporary inconvenience.

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