Gasoline is cheaper now in the U.S. than before Hurricane Katrina disrupted refineries, pipelines and Gulf of Mexico oil production in late August.Prices as a rationing tool? Someone should write a book.
The recovery of fuel supplies after the worst shock in almost three decades showed the system's resilience, said William Shireman, executive vice president of Gas City Ltd. in Frankfort, Illinois. Refiners worldwide increased production and tankers rushed fuel to the U.S. from overseas. Demand eased as gasoline topped $3 a gallon for the first time...
...A reduction in demand from U.S. drivers also helped rebuild supplies after the hurricanes, according Stan Sheetz, president of Sheetz Inc., a fuel retailer in Altoona, Pennsylvania, that sells more than 1 billion gallons of the fuel a year.
A seasonal drop in demand after the summer driving months ended and a reaction to record prices slowed Americans' desire to fill up their cars, he said. After Katrina struck, President George W. Bush urged Americans to drive less.
``The real significant change in demand occurred when retail prices went over $3 a gallon,'' Sheetz said. ``It proves the system works, because we went through a disaster and a rationing of fuel occurred because of pricing.''
Monday, December 12, 2005