In case you don’t live in Alabama there was a run on gasoline last Friday, a few days before Hurricane Ike hit Texas. Our wonderful media breathlessly reported that the refineries had shut down, wholesale prices were up to $5.00 per gallon, and they “did not know when more gas would be available”. While technically that was true, it wasn’t the whole story. What they didn’t tell was that gas would most likely be available, at a reasonable price, within a week at the latest. By Friday afternoon there were lines at the stations, which were charging between $3.99 and $4.99 per gallon for regular unleaded.
Anyone who has ever taken an Economics class could see this one coming a mile off. Surprise! A lot of stations ran out of gas! Go figure. There was plenty of gas at the pipeline “tank farms” here in Birmingham, but people were buying it quicker than the trucks could refill the stations. Now that the sky has not fallen, the same media is quick to point out that there never really was going to be a shortage. That’s right, even if the pipelines shut down completely there is a two week supply of gasoline already here in the Birmingham area in those “tank farms”. Oh yeah, and it’s our fault some stations are out because of panic buying because they told us to.