“More Gas Shortages On The Way”

“What’s going on? The immediate answer is that the double whammy of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which swept through the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month, caused much of the Gulf’s oil drilling and refinery production to be shut down. In particular Ike, which hit refinery-rich Southeastern Texas on Sept. 13, caused massive power outages in the Galveston and Houston areas.

As of this week, more than a dozen refineries around Texas City and Port Arthur were not operating at full capacity and, according to the Department of Energy, six refineries, with a combined capacity of 1.6 million barrels a day, were still not running at all.

A bigger problem

But while the current shortages can be traced directly to the two hurricanes, the severity of the problem points out a bigger issue: The U.S. has been operating for a while with razor-thin spare gasoline capacity.”

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