Gasoline Shortages Fuel Panic and Rage in the South

Here’s a disturbing story from the Associated Press on gas shortages in Asheville, North Carolina, where hot-tempered drivers are waiting in long lines to fill up, only to find in some cases that the pumps are tapped. Asks one flustered motorist:

"What’s wrong with our government? Why are they letting this happen to us?"

Maybe the saddest thing about that comment is that, months into the current gas price spike and years after Hurricane Katrina caused similar supply interruptions, Washington still isn’t talking about how to wean Americans off the stuff. As Atlantans Twitter to find the nearest line and Tennesseans take to the Internet with profanity-laced rants, Senate Republicans this week blocked a spending package that would have boosted funding for overburdened transit systems, while the best US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters can do is a paltry $30 million federal allocation to be split among 15 commuter rail projects.

Video: WorldWide News Today/YouTube

  • The saddest thing about that comment is the commenter’s infantile relationship with the federal government. The motorist seems to see the government as an all-powerful parental figure with the ability to override factors like the geology of the earth, the finite nature of oil resources, world demand, and refinery interruptions attributable to weather and climate change. Drivers need to grow up. Pleading and whining will get you nowhere. It’s time to start preparing for a post-peak-oil and post-automotive world with walkable and self-sufficient neighborhoods, bikeable roads, and numerous public transit options. Even if we started right this second, the adjustment would be lengthy, expensive, and painful — but the longer we wait, the more traumatic it will be.

  • MrManhattan

    “What’s wrong with our government? Why are they letting this happen to us?”

    Reminds me of:

    “If God loves us so much, why did he put all our oil under people who hate us?”

    Happy 100th Birthday of the Model T everybody!!!!!!!

  • Derek

    Our politicians allow these shortages to occur by prohibiting “price gouging” (allowing the market to choose prices), all in the name of protecting us.

    So they’re killing us with kindness.

  • Did you notice that the AAA spokeswoman was standing in front of a sign for a “bike repair shop?” Interesting.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    A preview of our apocalyptic, post-oil, not so distant future.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Here is someone who gets it. Happened to see him on Bill Moyer’s Journal. Went to get his book. Sold out.

    http://bigpicture.typepad.com:80/comments/2008/09/the-limits-of-p.html

  • The saddest thing is that the same commenter probably went home and ranted about “welfare mothers” getting handouts from government and “the gays” wanting special treatment.

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