Wow! Look at those numbers!
Gas prices at the pump rose by about 50 cents a gallon overnight in our area. One local station was selling regular unleaded for $2.779 yesterday (Tuesday) morning. This morning at 8 a.m. their price was $3.219 per gallon. Tonight at 7 p.m. the same station was asking $3.379 per gallon. I shudder to think what tomorrow will bring. They changed the price twice yesterday and twice today. Did they get new deliveries — at the higher prices — twice yesterday and twice today? They wouldn't answer that question when asked by a reporter. But I doubt it.
The owner of OK Petroleum on East Main Street didn't jack his prices up today, unlike just about every other station. He told our reporter he still had "gas in the ground" and wouldn't rip off his customers. A man of integrity— we ought to all buy our gas from him from now on.
People on the road today were ripping mad. I , too, was kicking myself for not gassing up yesterday, when my needle was hovering at a little less than a quarter-tank. No, I waited till this morning, when I had to pay almost 50 cents a gallon more for the privilege. A whopping $59 later, I was not a happy customer, either.
It amazes me how willing so many people were to take it out on the gas station attendants, though. Some customers had really nasty things to say to the attendants — things that had to do with their Middle Eastern heritage — and hearing their comments repeated by our reporter made me feel ashamed.
This could be the beginning of a gas crisis, reminiscent of the 70s. With world demand up and supplies not increasing, having Gulf refineries knocked off line by the hurricane, perhaps indefinitely, could trigger a shortage in the U.S. Are you old enough to remember those days in 1973, when gas was rationed due to the Arab oil embargo? We may see them again.
But we have to keep our troubles in perspective, after all. Looking at the photos and watching the videos of the devastation in New Orleans and coastal Mississippi snaps it all into focus for us. What a horror.
Your heart has to go out to the mayor of New Orleans. Imagine being the person responsible for figuring out how to clean up and put that city back together after a catastrophe like this. My God.