Posts tagged “rationing”
Forty Years After
In October 1973 the United States and other Western countries experienced a new phenomenon: an embargo on oil deliveries from a group of the world’s largest oil exporters, imposed in response to our military support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War then underway. Last week I attended a session in Washington hosted by the US Energy Security Council commemorating these events. It included a fascinating conversation between Ted Koppel and Dr. James Schlesinger, US Secretary of Defense at the time of the embargo and later the first US Energy Secretary.
The other, related purpose of the meeting was a presentation and discussion proposing that fuel competition provides a surer means of achieving energy security than our pursuit of energy independence for the next four decades following the Arab Oil Embargo. This idea warrants serious consideration, since energy independence, at least in the sense of no net imports from outside North America, is beginning to appear achievable.
When Hurricane Sandy was forecast to make landfall on the East Coast, I advised people to top off their automobiles with fuel. There were a number of reasons for that, and some people in New York and New Jersey are learning those reasons the hard way.
When a hurricane hits an area, it can damage refining infrastructure, fuel terminals, and service stations. Prolonged electrical outages can make fuel deliveries next to impossible, which has been the case around New Jersey since the hurricane hit. Any of these conditions can lead to fuel shortages. CBS News reports:
Gas is being rationed in parts of New York and New Jersey. The pumps are running on empty — and so is patience. According to the motor club AAA, 60 percent of the gas stations in New Jersey and 70 percent on New York’s Long Island are now closed.
One fuel buyer said, “This is crazy, it’s like post-apocalyptic scenarios, you know with this gas. It’s as important as food and water to people. It’s a dogfight out here.”
This looks ominous: Gasoline Inventories at Lowest Levels Since 1967. Source: This Week in Petroleum Of course we used a lot less gasoline in 1967, so on a ‘days of supply’ basis, this is probably the lowest level ever. I just got back to Dallas from the ASPO conference, and we are having shortages here as well. My cab driver said he had been to several stations that had no gas, and my wife told me that the Texaco near our house is out of premium. Someone asked during a panel discussion at ASPO whether we were going to have rationing by price. I answered that we are having that now. But prices aren’t going up nearly as much as… Continue»