09/03/05 — Panicking won’t improve the fuel situation

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Panicking won’t improve the fuel situation

Although the worst is probably over, at least for now, the prices at the gas pumps are not going to be any lower anytime soon.

You can come up with a variety of reasons for this phenomenon — some are legitimate, and some might raise a few questions themselves. No matter which explanation you choose, this gas crisis points to a need to look more carefully at what we are doing as a nation both now and in the future about energy consumption.

For now, it is time to slow down, think and not overreact to the news coming out of the Gulf Coast regarding gasoline supplies. In the last 72 hours, residents have heard rumors that the state will run out of gas, that there will be rationing, and that the crisis will last for more than two weeks.

And there was even a rumor that milk could shoot up to $6 a gallon.

And the reality is, most of what you are hearing now is just that, a rumor.
There might be more dire straits coming for the country with regard to gasoline as the Gulf Coast continues to try to recover from Hurricane Katrina. But until there is a real announcement and the predictions of dire circumstances become reports of what is actually happening, there is no need to rush to the pumps or the grocery store.

And if you do decide to rush, understand there are others rushing, too. There might be lines, and there might be short fuses. Causing trouble is only going to divert law enforcement and rescue personnel from their more important work of responding to true emergencies — and it could get you in some unnecessary trouble.

The gasoline supply might be strained for a while. So, now is a good time to think about ways to conserve fuel and how many trips you really need to make in a day. With a little extra planning and some patience, this storm will pass and we can all get back to the business of our lives, which is more than can be said for the thousands of Gulf Coast residents who have to rebuild theirs.

This is a glitch for usall, but one we can get through with a little patience and a whole lot of cooperation.

Published in Editorials on September 3, 2005 10:35 PM