Transterrestrial Musings

Defend Free Speech!

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type 4.0
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« Pain | Main | A History Of Thuggery »

Gas Lines

I keep hearing about shortages and lines in the south. The last time we had gas lines on any major scale was in the seventies, when oil prices were kept artificially low by federal fiat. Is that what's happening here? Are the "anti-gouging" laws keeping prices too low, and discouraging new supply? For instance, if you can't get any more for it in North Carolina than you can in Ohio, where's the incentive to spend the money to ship it in from there?

Can anyone in the areas where the lines are tell me?


0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Gas Lines.

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Jeff Medcalf wrote:

My understanding from a friend in TN is that if you are in a city that passed anti-gouging regulations, you cannot get any gas, but the posted price is cheap. If you drive outside the limits, you pay more than advertised inside the limits, but they have plenty of gas. It's almost like supply and demand setting price levels actually works.

Barbara Skolaut wrote:

We haven't had gas lines here in central Virginia that I know of (though I have seen some individual pumps at gas stations closed for whatever reason), but Virginia has an "anti-gouging" law and they actually were going on TV and radio asking people to report gasoline "price gouging" instances.

Last thing I heard on the news (after our big storm) is that there were around 2000 reports and they'd so far found 4 (that's what - 2/100ths of a percent?) that they "needed to look into further." I expect to hear no more about it, since I doubt they found any instances of actual "gouging."

Idiots. These clowns are feel-good economic morons. If I had the money, I'd give every one of our elected officials a copy of Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics" - but I doubt most of them would read it. And I KNOW most wouldn't apply it.

Rick C wrote:

I've seen a nearly 30-cent price difference in NE Dallas today. Oddly enough, the most expensive place was out of plus and super. I haven't seen lines per se, at least nothing out of the ordinary. (There's a few places that usually have low prices and are on a commuter route that usually are backed up a little in the evenings.)

Steve wrote:

It's been a strange week here in central NC, gasoline wise.

Around the Triangle, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, prices spanning from $3.69 in some places, to $4.05 in others. Not chain or brand driven either with regard to price, just really peculiar pricing. I've seen stations, 3 miles apart, in the same store chain, with prices set widely apart. I've not seen any stations completely out, but some are out of one grade or another. Oddly, sometimes a half-mile away, the same chain or brand has cheaper gas, with all grades available for sale. Lines in some places, no lines in others, low price didn't seem to be the issue for the lines.

There were short lines at "Sam's Club", no lines across the street at the BP. The price was exactly the same.

In the Triad area, Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, pricing is wacky too. That's roughly 70 miles away. But they have many more stations out of the different grades, and many stations are completely out of fuel. My brother drives all over the western part of NC, from the Triad, on sales calls. He says the further west you go, the harder it is to find gas.

On Tuesday, I saw lines for gasoline, at the more expensive of two stations on Western Blvd in Raleigh, no lines at the cheaper one across the street. I swear, I think people are huffing some of the gasoline they are buying!

If I could pin one word on the gasoline scenario here at the end of this week, WACKY. It simply defies reasoning.

Don wrote:

Asheville NC and Hendersonville NC have long lines. When gasoline is delivered it's gone in 1 1/2 hrs - 2 hrs. There have been fights, one person hit with a baseball bat, and I heard of one person being shot.

We're out in Travelers Rest, SC, just down US 25 about 12 miles from the NC border, and we've had lines for about the day leading up to the "outage". Greenville SC (another 8 or so miles south) has shortages in higher traffic areas; I expect by late today (Sat 09-27) or tomorrow we'll be in worse shape.

I've seen prices in the Greenville area of $3.64 to $4.00 for 87 octane, and I paid bout $4.19 for 89 octane.

Friends in Atlanta have reported long lines in some areas.

Interesting thought about anti-gouging laws. I hadn't thought of that, but I know Ga has one (we lived there for 15 years before we moved to Travelers Rest). I think SC has an anti-gouging law but I'm not sure, and I don't know about NC at all.

A neighbor spent the summer in NY state near Syracuse and said not only were there no shortages there, but gas was cheaper, about $3.83 while ours was about $3.84 to $3.99.

Orville wrote:

Not to gloat, but in KC there is no shortage, and I can find gas for $3.03/gal. From what I can see on the (caution peakers), it's simply a pipeline issue. It looks like the pipeline that serves the mid-west is connected to Houston refineries that fared better, than the Colonial pipeline that serves the SE. Helps to be at a pipeline head too, rather that a spur in Bumfluck, S.C.

Long lines here in Atlanta, no one has seen premium for days. Anti-gouging laws fully in effect... meaning low prices and drained tanks at most stations.

A Twitter community has sprung up around the #atlgas hashtag... visit for amusing/sad stories. An interesting use of the new media.

Zach in Charlotte wrote:

I'm in Charlotte and I cannot begin to tell you how angry I am. Some time last week, I believe, someone threatened lawsuits against gas stations that had raised prices north of $5 a gallon. The local news was just talking about people who are going around and topping off even though gas stations are only allowing purchases of $10 per visit. If prices had reacted according to a free market, I wouldn't be running on E with no gas in any of the local stations right now. This is the second time in the last week that I've had to worry about making it to and from work without running out of gas. Suffice it to say, I am not happy.

Fuloydo wrote:

I live south of KC and filled my truck at 3.249 last Wednesday. Cheapest I've paid for a gallon of gas since April. No lines to be seen.

Rob wrote:

I live in North Georgia (Dawsonville) and would normally be commuting down to Kennesaw (North Atlanta) more often but am doing it far less now. Thank goodness that as a software developer I can telecommute.

There are very very few stations with gas and those that get some are out within hours. The police have to set up traffic control and even then thoroughfares get blocked with people waiting in lines. Yes, we are still paying $4/gallon but I would gladly (not really, but it's all relative) pay $5/gallon if it meant that gas was more available.

This is ridiculous and I think that it is another failure of government. I vote Republican, but Gov. Sonny Perdue: you are a moron.

George wrote:

Paid $3.569/gallon in Dallas suburb of Plano, TX this week. Seems a little high, but no lines of customers or stations without gasoline. However, gas stations were very busy in the days before Ike hit Texas. Because prices were about 30 cents per gallon higher after the storm, I waited for them to fall before buying more gas. The price signal seems to work here.

I have a post that is on point.

Emergency Preparation: No Price Gouging Here
-- We're Honorable, So We Don't Have Any Stuff

Jim: I'm in trouble. There is 3" of water in my
basement and it is rising slowly. I really need that pump.
Sam: I feel for you. My last pump sold to a guy who
didn't need it now, but wanted to be safe. At the standard
price of $140, he decided not to wait.

Sam Dinkin wrote:

If Wall Street is allowed to repeal the laws of economics, main street should be allowed to also.

Karl Hallowell wrote:

Andrew, you have a very interesting blog. I'd just bookmarked it.

Dave wrote:

Tight supplies here in ATL with maybe 1/4 of stations out of gas. No "price gouging" nevermind that there's no such thing. $3.99 - 4.29/ gal. for regular when it's available, which is maybe $.40 a gal. (10%) higher than before Ike hit Texas. However, the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs is stupidly encouraging consumers to report price gouging. Not surprisingly, gas lines are increasingly common - at least for folks neither resourceful nor impatient enough to avoid them - and lead the local news around here like a 1/4" snowfall in winter. (Now snow in the summer, THAT would be newsworthy.)

If it were my gas station, I'd charge $4.99/ gal. with a 10 gal. MINIMUM. That would get rid of the tank toppers and leave plenty of gas for folks who need it. And yes, I'll waive it if you walk up with a gas can because you ran out down the road. When the alternatives are long lines (bad) or no gas at all (worse) a few dollars extra is a small price to pay for readily available fuel. Oh, and I'd have my customers sign a petition stating as much which I would use to answer GOCA's charges against me.

Leave a comment

Note: The comment system is functional, but timing out when returning a response page. If you have submitted a comment, DON'T RESUBMIT IT IF/WHEN IT HANGS UP AND GIVES YOU A "500" PAGE. Simply click your browser "Back" button to the post page, and then refresh to see your comment.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on September 26, 2008 1:26 PM.

Pain was the previous entry in this blog.

A History Of Thuggery is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.1