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AAA Carolinas: Don't panic over gas prices

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From AAA Carolinas: CHARLOTTE – AAA Carolinas is urging motorists to show restraint until the results of Hurricane Ike’s impact on the Texas refineries is assessed this weekend. “The fear of what might happen if these refineries are severely damaged has caused widespread panic resulting in some stations running out of product, some stations raising prices dramatically in anticipation of high fuel replacement costs, and some stations trying to restrict the number of gallons being purchased,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “The run on gas stations in both Carolinas is creating a crisis before one actually exists,” said Parsons. “We are making a possibly bad situation reality when motorists top off their tanks.” North Carolina continues under a state of emergency called for Hurricane Hanna. That means stations should not charge more for gasoline than what the gasoline in the ground cost the station plus the margin of profit that existed 60 days before the state of emergency was declared. South Carolina is also in a state of emergency. If any contiguous state is in a state of emergency, South Carolina’s Attorney General can impose one in his state, and he has done so. “Until we know what the damage from Ike is, people should remain calm,” urged Parsons. If damage is minimal, then prices should come down fairly quickly, Parsons said. If damage is severe, there are various options that can ensure adequate supply, such as getting product from the nation’s Strategic Oil Reserve and asking nearby oil producers to increase output. “We are urging motorists to eliminate unnecessary trips this weekend, use the family car that gets the best gasoline mileage and wait to see what damage Ike actually inflicts,” said Parsons. While supply will be adversely affected by refinery shutdowns due to Ike’s approach, the duration and effect of Ike cannot be determined until after the storm has passed. An affiliate of the American Automobile Association, AAA Carolinas is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.7 million members with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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Employers need to bend a little or accomadate

This "state of emergency" needs to require that employers pay people who can't get gas to come to work. I stay about 35 minutes away from work. I drove home on "E". I called 4 or 5 gas stations within a 5 mile radius at 6:00 am and no one has gas. Yet my job will penalize me for not coming to work. Mind you I live over a mile from a bus stop.

You can't walk a mile?

If walking that mile to the bus stop is an insurmountable obstacle, I'd suggest that you walk a lot more and drive less.

Move

Why should an employer be required to pay you to stay home? You choose to live where you do, if gas is a problem move closer to your job.

Gas prices

We complain and complain but we do nothing to help the cause or cure. Let's see how we could help ourselves, NO MORE DRIVETHRUS, how much gas is wasted each day because people are too lazy to get out of their SUV and walk: STUDENTS RIDE BUSES TO SCHOOL, how many cars are driven to school after a bus goes past the same house the car was at; WALMART HAS PARKING GUARDS, how much gas is wasted with people driving around and around looking to get close to the door ( hey if they wan't get out and walk for their food do you think they will walk at Walmart?) DIFFERENT PRICED PUMPS, each gas station should have different priced pumps, people with small cars should get a dollar or so off for the effort they make and those with the big SUV should pay a extra dollar for being wasteful so the sign out front should read: 4 CYLINDER PRICE $2.50 6 CYLINDER $3.00 8 CYLINDER $4.00 10 CYLINDER $9.99 DUMB TAX INCLUDED

I am really tired of hearing

I am really tired of hearing about how schools don't teach anything...I can't speak for every child in every school: but the kids in my classroom do get what they're supposed to get and more.

I'm also tired...

of financially illiterate youth who enter the workforce after high school. You don't mention what grade you teach, but are you saying that high school students are taught basic, real-life business and economics such as how to balance a checkbook, prepare a budget, interview for a job and dress properly for that interview, purchase insurance...all needed to function once they enter the real world of work?

let me pull up my pants legs

You sure are a surfer, you could probably surf on that giant wave of BS that you are spouting out. Anyone who thinks they can do better at teaching high school should try. Really, get your ed certification and get a job. THEN, my smelly friend, you will see that there is very little that you can do. In the mere ninety minutes that we have them, we can not remove the years of negelect and cultural norms and values which include none of the things you mentioned. By the way, the state has mandated a serior project that is suppose to teach those critical values. Then end result will be a higher dropout rate. Please know what you are talking about before you type, otherwise you'll look like an idiot.

Refinery Outages Cont.....

Insight 8. Regardless of whether price or some other type of rationing is used, someone, somewhere will need to go without refined product, if it is not available. If there is not enough diesel to go around, some trucks will not be able to make deliveries or some road making equipment will not be able to operate. If there is not enough jet fuel for all of the airplanes, some flights will have to be cancelled. Some auto trips will have to be eliminated. Insight 9. If 5 million barrels of refinery production is taken off-line, this is equivalent to a little over 25% of US refined product usage. We would hope that the amount of refinery production off-line would drop fairly quickly, but it could be several days before it drops from the current 5 million barrels off-line. It will be impossibile to make up this huge shortage with imports of refined products from overseas, or the use of winter grade gasoline in summer. Edit: See reference table at the end of this article to see EIA data to compare to these amounts. Because shortages are likely to vary by part of the country, depending on pipeline service to the area, it is quite likely some areas will experience shortages of 25% for several days, even if loss in refined product declines to "only" a shortfall of 2 million barrels a day, which equates to 10% of current usage. At 10% of current product usage, there would be a shortfall of gasoline of about 900,000 barrels a day. Insight 10. Because some areas are likely to be very short of supply, it is likely that gasoline prices would need to rise to $10 a gallon or more in those areas, to cut back demand sufficiently. In some areas, there may be temporary shortfalls of 25% of more of gasoline supply. To allocate such short supplies would take a very high price. Government officials are not likely to let this happen. Instead, we are likely to see many stations that are completely out of gasoline, and other stations with long lines, selling at most 10 gallons per customer. Insight 11. The lack of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel is likely to cause feedbacks to the rest of the economy. If people are forced to cut back on gasoline use, they are likely to cut back considerably on trips to restaurants and other discretionary trips. Restaurants that were doing poorly before will find their business much worse. Restaurants on the brink of bankruptcy may be forced over the edge. Some people will suddenly find their incomes lower (for example, gasoline station owners who have no fuel to sell; waitresses in restaurants; truck drivers whose trips are reduced). These people will find it more difficult to pay their bills than previously. Some may default on mortgages and credit card debt. Insight 12. We will all get to see first-hand a little of what the impact of peak oil is likely to be. When there are shortages of fuel, people can be expected to hoard supplies. This may cause shortages to be worse than they would otherwise be. Co-operation could go quite a way to solving day-to-day problems. We will get to see to what extent this actually comes into play. Allocation by price has long been advocated as the American way. We will get to see how long this lasts when there is clearly not enough supply at prices voters consider "acceptable". Credits the Oil Drum dot com

Excellennt posts!

But we may never see that ten day outage. While Kay Bailey Hutchison is predicting an eight or nine day outage, Bloomberg is reporting that the thirteen Texas refineries escaped major damage, and could be up as soon as they get power restored. The three Louisiana refineries at Lake Charles will be down longer, as they sustained more damage. The feds are releasing crude oil from the SPR to help stock refineries that are operating but facing reduced production because of Gustav and Ike's impact on crude inventories. That lack of crude may be more hype than reality, however, as evidenced by the fact that NYMEX electronic futures are below $99 right now. Futures on October regular unleaded are also down today. So there are obviously a LOT of people who don't think there's going to be a major shortage at all, because that's the way the money is flowing.

Implications of a 10 Day refinery Outage

Insight 1. Even before Hurricane Ike hit, inventories were very low. According to EIA data, gasoline inventories the week that Hurricane Gustav hit were the lowest that they had been since 2000, amounting to 187.9 million barrels, or about 21 days supply. Quite a bit of this inventory is needed just to keep the pipelines filled. EIA does not publish information as to how far inventories need to drop before we start seeing outages, but it is clear that we have now reached the point where shortages are developing. Insight 2. Friday, September 12, before Hurricane Ike hit, there were already gasoline shortages in some parts of the country. These occurred primarily because of the earlier impact of Hurricane Gustav. Even though Hurricane Gustav hit on September 1, its impact on petroleum product supplies were not felt immediately, because some inventories were still available, and because it takes a while for shortages to work their way through the pipeline. Gasoline traveling by pipeline from Texas to New Jersey takes an average of 18.5 days to make the trip, so it shouldn't be surprising that it took 11 days (from September 1 to September 12) for the Hurricane Gustav shortage to start to be felt. Insight 3. Since Hurricane Gustav hit, there has been a drop in refinery output of 1 to 3 million barrels a day. The Department of Energy releases daily reports showing the amount of refinery capacity in the hurricane area that is shut in and the amount subject to reduced runs. We cannot know to what extent runs are reduced. For the purpose of Figure 2, I have estimated that reduced runs have the impact of reducing production by one-third. The amount shown in the graph is a rough estimate of the amount by which refinery production will decrease. It is not exact because: (1) We don't know the extent to which production was reduced under reduced runs. (2) I haven't adjusted for expected refinery utilization rates, without the hurricane. (3) The data is only for the hurricane area. It is likely that the hurricanes have changed refinery production elsewhere - some increases (greater use to offset shutdowns) and some decreases (because of unavailable crude). Insight 4. It is likely that we will have product shortages for at least the next three to four weeks, because of shut in refinery capacity and reduced refinery runs. I have said that it is likely to take a week or two to get refinery production up to pre-Ike levels. Suppose it takes 10 days. Adding 10 days to the date of the hurricane (September 12) brings us to September 22. If it takes an average of 18.5 days to get product from Texas to New Jersey by pipeline, it will take until approximately October 10 before supplies are back to normal. It could be a little shorter than this, or quite a bit longer. Insight 5. One of the biggest refined product pipelines, Colonial Pipeline, is now reported to be shut down, because of lack of refined product input. Colonial pipeline is one of the largest pipelines, with a capacity of 2.4 million barrels a day. It serves the Southeast and the East Coast. Until Colonial pipeline is back to carrying full capacity of gasoline, diesel, and other refined products, there are likely to be shortages along the gulf coast and the Southeast. The Northeast may also begin to see shortages. Other major outages have also been reported. Explorer pipeline, carrying 700,000 barrels a day of petroleum products from Texas/LA to Indiana, is completely shut down. Plantation pipeline, carrying 600,000 barrels a day of petroleum products from Louisiana to Virginia, is operating at reduced rates. Insight 6. The lack of refined product (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel) is what is driving pipeline outages. Until there is enough refined product, some of the pipelines will be short of products to ship. In the immediate aftermath of Ike, lack of electricity may also interefere with the operation of some pipelines, but it is too soon to have information about these disruptions. Insight 7. Areas with pipeline disruptions are likely to experience shortages of all refined products, not just gasoline. While gasoline is the product that is in short supply most quickly because of lower inventories than some other products, eventually diesel and jet fuel can expect shortages as well. Cont.....

Gas and Refining

Dear Mr Joe and Jane Public, Before everyone gets started on Gas Pricing and the Possible coming shortages, please look up the FACTS and inform or educate yourself. Prior to IKE, refining capacity, AND Crude Imports to Refineries were "blown" offline due to Gustav, ie: the LOOP Terminal which receives up to 25%, (ROUGH FIGURE)of our countries Imported crude. Ike has undone repairs that were just completed on the Refining/Oil infrastructure. Figures ranging from 16% to as high as 30% of our countries Distillate Products are refined in Texas/La areas, which in turn runs up various Pipelines, with Colonial pipeline being the Largest, that is now shutdown.. This Pipeline operates on a MOL (minimum operating level), that has been reached.. The Nation can expect Shortages much like the Arab Oil Embargo that occurred in the Early 70's within the following weeks months. MAIN Power Grid Backbone's Suppling Refineries have been destroyed, meaning, 2 linemen and a cherrypicker are not going to fix this overnight. In addition to Refineries Shutting down, Repairs being made, Power restored, Where are the workers going to stay? The Majority have been stranded in various places throughout the south and West of of Ikes Landfall in shelters, Motels/Hotels etc.. You would think that the Nation as a Whole would of Learned the lessons from Katrina/Rita on our energy infrastructure, having all our energy eggs in one basket.. What can WE expect? Gas Shortages Diesel Shortages Jet fuel Shortages Possible Food Shortages as Diesel becomes "scarce", and our food cannot no longer be trucked in. We should start to see Fuel Shortage effects with-in a few days, and food Shortages around 10 days.. ****************************** Implications of a 10 Day Refinery Outage Cont.....

Bend Over

Bend over and hold your ankles we are gonna get screwed and we are not even gonna get kissed. Hell the oil companies won't even buy us dinner.

Kinda like the government.

Kinda like the government. They screw you and don't even thank you the next morning.

High Prices

Once again the news media has helped the public by creating a fear. I never thought I would see the day when our country's fear level would outway common sense. When the first report of price increase's every one should have when home and stayed there,and refusing to drive or feed into any more Gas pricing games. What I saw was folks driving at the speed of light and complaining about prices. What was accomplished? Who prevailed?

LOL

what do you mean....all you have to say is PEDOPHILE or TERRORIST and you can negate ANYTHING in the Constitution you want...and people won't say a WORD when you do it. This country has lost it's BALLS is the problem... Oil Companies are stealing I don't care how much they had, etc....I have been around a while and oil didn't go up in the past like it does now when hurricanes spun thru the Gulf or ALREADY unstable countries started spouting off to the media...its all and EXCUSE TO GOUGE and I for one will be HAPPY when the day comes when I can throw my middle finger up at big oil when I fill my vehicle up!

BURN YOUR SUV

These gas swilling hunks of crap need to be banned, everyone has to chip in and get away from oil dependence, I sold my truck and bought a 4 cylinder economy car.....Fat soccer moms driving big SUV's and sucking down a bigmac are disgusting

Sick of the Dependence

I was so angry yesterday as I watched an employee of a neighboring convenience store go out for the 3rd time that I observed to raise the price of gas already paid for sitting in their tanks. This is just criminal how these oil companies and their imps are taking money from people that cannot afford to pay anything else! This is a goverment condoned rape of its people and I sick to death of working to pay these bullies so they can have another record breaking profit quarter. These "employees" can say what they want but they can sale that load to someone else, common sense says the gas in their tanks was already paid for and they were taking advantage of the situation. Years ago when hurricanes hit we did not see this type of price increase so why do we now? These people will use any excuse to up the prices and stick it the poor American people some more. By all that is holy please vote and support those opposed to oil companies and are actively searching for other types of fuel. Until then do your part and start the process of cutting back on your consumption. If we bond together we can hit them where it hurts most, their pockets.

Sick of the Dependence

I agree completely. It is a shame that some people are greedy and want to steal from hard working people who just want to take care of their family with what little money, only to have gas station owners raise the price of gas when it is not needed or warranted. SHAME ON THEM. If I robbed a store or a person, I would go to prison. I see no difference in what gas owner are doing, robbin the public of their hard earned money.

Gas prices

Working with the gas companys I know that go gas is going to sell what they have and thats all for them, wilco hess can continue to sell theres cheaper because of where they get theres from Bahamas, I know for a fact that the crown stores are losing money on each gallon of gas. For each gallon that they sale there losing a dollar to a dollar and a half depending on which location. Time will tell how many stations are going to shut down a number already have. True what one person said about them getting gas for one price than marking it up for a profit this is true and does happen but the mark up is not 1.50 a gallon so they are losing money! I know that a few gas stations normally get there gas out o Selma SC but due to demands and dare I saw shortages most of the gas has being comming from Apex NC which is making it hirer. Just be glad that we have gas and that our wilmington adverage is cheaper than other NC countys. A not so concerned citizen.

Panic at the Gas Station

Panic at the gas station--prices keep going higher and higher, People waiting in line for gas, the situation is becoming dire. The reason this time, there is some hurricane a brewin' People getting upset, many of them stewin' Where is the end to this craziness and panic? Like the Bangles said, "Monday is going to be manic!" Don't understand this, oil is down to $100 a barrel, Oh well, time for some escapism--put in a movie starring Will Ferrell.

to the person who wrote "we are wrong.'

There isn't a business out there that is not out to make a profit, If more so this day and time. SO I think you need to read the book again. Go Gas is out to make money if they weren't they wouldn't building so many and they wouldn't have a staff, They are out to make money. Stand for something or you will fall for anything. PARK THE CAR when you can. YOU and YOU only control that

For The First TIme

For The First Time In Over A Year Crude Oil Closed UNDER $100 a barrel yest I saw one station with $4.42 per gallon gas.... Meanwhile the republican oil=rich machine contineus to get richer as well as these gas stations around town who are PRICE GOUGING!

Before you start pointing

Before you start pointing fingers at Republicans, you might want to take a look at who holds alot of stock in oil co. You might be surprised at the Dems.

No money in gasoline sales

You need to learn about the oil industry. I can guarantee you that there is very little money in gasoline sales. Why do you think Exxon is selling off all their gas stations? A gas station owner makes only a few pennies on every gallon sold. A gas station makes it's money from either auto repairs/towing or convenience store operations. The big money is on the upstream side. You can pump a barrel of oil out of the ground for $5.00 and sell it for $100. There's also money in refining, but nothing like the exploration and production side of the business makes. You can produce about twenty gallons of gasoline from that $100 barrel. You can then wholesale those twenty gallons for $3.50 a gallon, but when you deduct the astronomical costs of operating the refinery, the profit is still far short of what you make from simply pumping and selling oil. So rather than just gripe and whine, the best thing you can do is invest in upsteam production. I find that the fatter royalty checks every month take the sting out of increasing gasoline expenditures.

LOL

You don't think DemoRATS have stock in oil??? You my friend are a blinded ZOMBIE...you guys make me laugh!

Zombies

I thought Democrats were zombies.

Guest cp1234

Do us all a favor and keep your job at the Go Gas, but don't bother attempting to tell the rest of us that we don't know what we're talking about. You're the one that has no idea what you're speaking of (as your comment and grammar clearly suggest). First of all...yes, your owner is ripping people off. They are raising prices on gasoline that they have already paid for. The gas that they were selling today is the same that they were selling from their tanks yesterday. Station owners are simply seizing the opportunity to make some extra cash. Second, if your station did receive a fresh shipment of gasoline today, the prices were not increased from the wholesalers. Oil closed the day up 9 cents (.09%) today and wholesale gasoline futures finished the day up 2 cents at $2.77 (less that 1%) in energy market trading. So your boss raising prices 10-20% in one day is nothing more that price gouging. Last, your boss does make his money off of gasoline sales. Go Gas is not your typical convenient store that sales numerous items and has customers coming inside the store. It sales GAS and some drinks and snacks out in front of your little payment booth. So if you think he didn't improve his profit margin today, you're insane! I think that you might be the one that should keep their opinion to theirself as you clearly have no idea how consumer prices are set! Don't forget...there's a reason that the NC Attorney General is accepting complaints of price gouging all over the state. It's because of people like your boss!!

Retail gasoline pricing

Remember that retail pricing is not based upon the cost of the item already on the shelf. It is based on the replacement cost. So if a wholesaler notifies a dealer that the next shipment of unleaded regular will cost twenty cents more per gallon, you can bet that the retail price will rise by twenty cents within minutes, even if the shipment isn't due for three days. It's the only way you stay in business, whether you're selling gasoline, eggs, or shoes. That said, what we saw yesterday was blatant price gouging and unnecessary panic by idiot consumers. I'm not aware of ANY wholesale price increases pending. There were simply advisories that if the Texas refineries were hit hard, we could see some slight, temporary shortages if the mid-Atlantic refineries had to ship priduct the the South Central market.

One correction....

There WERE on-the-spot wholsesale price increases on Friday. Still, this was in response to FEARS of a shortage. There is no actual shortage at this time. There are major refineries off-line, but you can bet that they will be among the first to have power restored. So it appears the any price gouging was done by distributors, and gas service stations were simply responding to an arguably unwarranted price increase.

Same thing happened in

Same thing happened in Jacksonville after Katrina. Someone got on a local radio station and said there would be no gas deliveries for two weeks and people went insane. I was a vendor running a delivery route at the time and I finally gave up and went home because I couldn't get in the store parking lots for the gas lines. There were even people assaulting each other, the cops showing up to break up fights, just chaos in general. People were showing up with every gas can and jug they could find. Ran the price up from just above $2 to $3.40 for regular and ran most of the stations out of gas. The store employees were trying to point out that they raised the prices to discourage people from buying all of the gas. Most of the stations got their regularly scheduled deliveries the next day, and by the day after gas was back to about $2.50. Depending on the store chain, our gas either comes from Selma or from SC. If the hurricane does not actually severely damage the refineries, they should be back up and running within a few days of the storm. Both depots should have some supply on hand. This situation may actually drive the oil prices down even further because the refineries will be backlogged with oil, but the more gas we buy in this situation, the more the price will go up because they don't want you to buy the gas. Politics has nothing to do with it. Stations like GoGas will close and take longer to reopen because they buy "seconds" on the gas and when supplies are tight, there is less availablity, so they will go up higher to try not to run out. If you want to keep the prices down, don't take every empty container in your house down and fill it with gas. Once you pump gas, it begins to lose strength anyway, so you can't store it for long, and it's dangerous to keep around. If the prices seem high to you now, once all of the local supply is exhausted and they start trucking gas from the midwest, you will really see it go up. If the refineries are not severely damaged, things should return to normal in a couple of weeks.