Current mood: argumentative
I went out to tank up around 7 p.m. Saturday, 8/30. Here in Pittsburgh, 87 octane was 365.9, 89 was 373.9, hi-test was about 395.9. Hurricane Gustav is about to tear through the Gulf of Mexico as a Category 4 storm or close to it. Something like half of our petroleum refining capacity is in Louisiana and nearby Texas, directly in the path of this storm. Lots of our drilling platforms are in the Gulf, in Gustav's path, too.
Just like after Katrina, I suspect that gasoline is going to spike 30 or 40 cents a gallon. The storm hits Monday. Coincidentally, also in about two weeks, chances are pretty good that Pittsburgh bus drivers will go on strike. See if there isn't an additional couple of cent spike in fuel prices with a bunch more cars on the road here in The 'Burgh as a result.
Also, just like after Katrina, President Bush will call for more oil drilling and using the national Strategic Petroleum Reserve to alleviate the price spike. Problem will be, just like after Katrina, it's not oil that we will be short on, but refining capacity. There was no oil shortage in September 2005, but rather refining capacity. If the industrial sites were not wrecked or in need of electricity, then the people who ran them were driven out by the storm. That's what caused the price spike.
Darn tootin' I'm going to ride my bike every chance I can get, so I don't have to use the car. I recommend everyone else do likewise -- or ride transit, or carpool, or walk, or telecommute, or whatever. Just don't drive!