Last Friday as Hurricane Ike barreled through the Gulf, word spread that the supply of gasoline may be impacted by the shutdown of refineries and the supply source.
Because of that concern, the lines at the pumps increased dramatically, and the price per gallon of gas shot up.
Our local view is that we create much of the problem ourselves. By rushing to fill up our tanks, we create a significant drain on the normal supply chain, which results in a self-fulfilling prophecy of a lack of product and higher prices.
Many gas stations around the region raised prices slightly based on what they anticipated. Unfortunately, many also raised prices dramatically, taking advantage of their customers, and in some cases gouging them unfairly. That is unacceptable, and hopefully those owners will face legal ramifications.
Let's not let this happen in the future. If a storm is approaching in the Gulf, just fill up your tank further in advance rather than making a mad rush to the pumps when the storm is about to hit. You'll take away the stress of trying to get to the store at the last minute, and you also eliminate the creation of the lack supply of adds to the frenzy that ultimately drives up the prices for all of us.