Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gas Shortage in Asheville...Again

Last week we tried to get gas at the station down the street and found all the pumps labeled 'out of order.' Weird, but we just went to the next one, cursed at having to pay $45 for 10 gallons of gas, and went on our way.

It wasn't until I walked past a radio playing some local talk show that I discovered the 'Asheville gas shortage'. The talk show host was screaming at how disappointed he was in Asheville citizens for buying into some rumor about a gas shortage, thereby creating an unnecessary gas shortage.

Today, it happened again, except this time the 2nd gas station was also out of gas. There was one station opened and it had several cars waiting in line. Not really needing gas, we went on our way to the grocery store and let everyone else fend for themselves. Searching online, I found out that the gas shortage also effected Nashville, TN, Charlotte, NC, and somewhere in Louisiana.

Again, today I see every yahoo and his brother online talking about how idiots have caused a gas shortage. I suppose that everyone learned that story in high school about how Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage simply by making a joke about a made-up toilet paper shortage, and now they think they are very smart and special for 'knowing' that everyone is out panicking over an invented gas shortage.

I wasn't out panicking over a gas shortage, I was just going to the gas station to get gas as though I live in a prosperous nation. I'm betting that most other people were doing the same. Only there wasn't any gas. But if we blame 'those idiots' who panic, then we don't have to face up to the possible reality that our economy is imploding and our government is fleecing the people through massive printing/devaluing of our dollar to support lousy banks, an endless war, and a dying American worldwide empire.

In short, I don't know if the gas shortage is real or just another psychological failure of the American people, kind of like our collective psychological delusion that supposedly drove up gas prices in the first place. More importantly, you don't know either. If you had that sort of insight, you'd probably be making lots of money off of stocks and commodities and derivatives and lots of other big financial words that I don't fully understand. So shut your pie hole.


Eric said...

i had to leave my truck parked in asheville and come down to hendersonville for gas.

took me 45 minutes to find a station with gas.

scary times we live in

Diana said...

Yes indeed. Glad you found some gas. It is all rather unnerving.

Asa said...

It's not really that big of a mystery why there are shortages. North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas implemented a "price gouging" law that went into effect after hurricane Ike. See here, here and here.

Since you can't force gas stations to sell gas, when they're not allowed to raise the price in anticipation of their higher prices to refill their tanks, they choose not to sell any gas.

For a nice summary of the issue, you can read this blog post.

You don't have to resort to panic theory or such to explain the situation, you can just use basic economics. There was no shortage in parts of the country where prices were allowed to fluctuate according to supply and demand. The supply of gas naturally got distributed to areas where it could be sold for the most profit.

DSK said...

I have to admit, when the first gas run started here about 10 days ago, I thought people were being crazy. Surely the local distributors all had tons of buffer sitting in their tank farms? And it's not like refineries shutting down in Texas would have an impact for a week or more, I thought.

Well... shortages kicked in pretty fast in Chattanooga and Atlanta, and they're still going until this day.

Hoarding? Effects of price controls? Incompetent distribution? All of the above?

I dunno, but thank goodness we've got the person who Knows More About Energy Than Anyone Else in the United States running for VP!!


Diana said...

The interesting thing is that neighboring counties have plenty of gas.

Our governor here in NC JUST TODAY called a reporter in Asheville and said 'Do you guys have a gas shortage there?' This has been going on for over a week and our governor doesn't even know about it? How is this possible? Serious communication breakdown.

Personally, I think it's probably good that gas is so expensive and hard to come by. It's the only way to get people to quit driving so much. The bus has been a lot more crowded lately.

Raven said...

Well, I can't believe I missed this when you first posted it. So very strange. I haven't heard of anything like that here. I wonder if it's panic or if there was some impact on your delivery system because of the hurricanes. That would make more sense to me. After all, even if you panic, you can only fill your tank up so many times. Strange days we are living in. I hope Obama wins and then I pity him for the mess he will be faced with cleaning up.

Anonymous said...

I'm home from work four hours early, looking up "gas shortage" on the internet because I've been sent home indefinitely, due to lack of business. No gas, no traveling. No traveling, no customer. No cutomers, no hourly pay check for me, and I'll bet hundreds, if not thousands of others in Asheville tonight.
So, wish for high prices if you think that will induce more eco-friendly behavior. But be grateful for a shortage only at the peril of an already very fragile economy.

Diana said...

Good point, Anonymous. I'm sorry for your hardship. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

I'm pretty much staying at home so I actually have no sense of what sorts of pains people are going through in town. I think there is a lot more pain ahead, unfortunately - not just in the South East but all over. I hope the country can cope and come through the other side a lot stronger.

Diana said...


I have to admit, I wasn't fully buying your explanation since all over NC they have gas, but it seems to only be effecting us here in the mountains. But then I read this article and it all makes more sense to me. Asheville gets a nice mention on page 2.

By the way, thanks for popping in! It's been a while.

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