I was talking the other night to a friend about the gas shortage here in Atlanta, and admitted that I was embarrassed how it had unnerved me.
Hurricanes Gustav and Ike shut down the refineries on the gulf coast which produce the gasoline that is pumped through pipelines to the southeast. It has taken the refineries a long time to get back up and running, and the gasoline reaching our area is well below normal.
The result has been shortages, long lines and the barely muted panic of a population habituated, and unable to get, it’s substance of choice.
The first line I saw was a week ago when I went to get my car washed at a gas station. (Due to a drought, we’re also restricted from engaging in another American birthright: the domestic joy of washing the car in the driveway.)
There was a line half a block long at the station. The attendant said it was because they were selling lowest octane gas at $3.87 a gallon.
I got the car washed without waiting, but the experience was disturbing.