Friday, September 12, 2008

Panic Over Fuel Prices and Supplies in TN

Between Hurricane Gustave and the current storm, Hurricane Ike, gasoline prices are passing the $4 mark (again) and many outlets are running out of supplies, with the situation likely to get worse over the next few days.;

Michael Silence and the KNS are filing reports: here, here and here.

So is the Greeneville Sun:

However, the local gasoline retailers The Greeneville Sun was able to contact this morning said they have fuel to sell,

They said they believe that, although individual stations will run out for brief periods, enough gasoline is "in the pipeline" and in the system to prevent a widespread shortage unless Texas refineries take a direct hit from the strong hurricane.

Chris Marsh, president and CEO of Marsh Petroleum, said his company had two stations in Knoxville and one in Oak Ridge that ran out of gasoline last night, but added that that had not happened here, so far.

Marsh operates 22 Exxon and Conoco Phillips stations, including six in Greeneville.

"If (the hurricane) hits refineries, next week could really be awful," in terms of gasoline availability, Marsh said. For the time being, Marsh urged motorists to conserve."

And the Kingsport Times-News:

"Area and state consumers were in what can only be described as panic buying Friday as gasoline prices spiked.

Reed Burton, one of those waiting at Wal-Mart, was flabbergasted. Regarding Hurricane Ike fueling the increase in prices, he said," Well, they've always got an excuse, don't they."

Burton's anger was a constant theme Friday morning along West Stone Drive gas stations, where unleaded prices ranged from $3.86 to $3.96 at 11 a.m. One station, the Mobil in Mount Carmel, displayed $4.06 for regular unleaded.

"I think it's outrageous," said Kingsport's Martin Johnson at the West Stone Drive Shell Station pumps.

"They otta shoot those (expletive) oil presidents and it would be over with."

I'll try and update this as the weekend progresses. If you have seen price spikes and outages, please leave a comment and share the info.

UPDATE 1: Prices closing in on $4.50 a gallon.

UPDATE 2: Prices closing in on $5.

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