I want you to do me a favor tomorrow morning. When you are stuck on Interstate 75 at Wade Green Road and you have to get to downtown Atlanta, I want you to be thankful. When you are staring at a sea of brake lights on Interstate 20 heading between Conyers and Interstate 285, I want you to say a little prayer. If you find yourself idling for 20 minutes on Interstate 75/85 across from Turner Field, remember you are blessed.
Thankful for what you might be asking? You should be thankful that you were able to start your car this morning, knowing no matter what traffic nightmares awaited you on your commute, the one thing you didn’t have to worry about, was getting gas for your car. There are many people in the northeastern United States right now that would love to switch places with you.
Lost in the coverage of Super Storm Sandy was the impact the storm has had on gas pumps throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Gas is in short supply. Lines are long, tempers as you might imagine, are short.
The gas shortage caused by Sandy reminds me of the shortage we had here in the metro area in September of 2008. Do you remember it? I do, and it was a very uneasy time to be a driver in Atlanta.
As a result of Hurricane’s Ike and Gustav, oil refineries along the gulf coast were shut down, which reduced the national refinery capacity by 20 percent. The impact was especially great here in the Atlanta area. I remember driving by gas station after gas station looking for a fill-up. The stations that did have gas had lines that stretched around the block and there was no guarantee that by the time you got up to the pumps, there would be any gas left. It was a nerve-wracking experience that got more so, the closer my tank got to the dreaded “E”.
I had to do something to ensure that I would have enough gas to get to work. I decided to take what little go juice (Mad Max reference) I had left in the tank and drive south on Interstate 75.
Thirty miles north of Macon I found a station that had gas. I filled up my car and bought two huge containers and filled them up as well. I drove back home happier than I had ever been after going to a gas station.
Similar situations are playing out up north right now. Matthew Capuzzi of Chester, New Jersey drove 90 minutes to Matamoras, Penn. to fill up the family truck.
Jason Tarulli of Queens, N.Y. only had to drive 30 minutes to find a station with gas, but he had to wait over two hours to fill up his tank because the line for the pumps were “60 cars deep.”
So again, be thankful tomorrow morning as you are slowly crawling through bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County. More gas is available to you at every exit you pass.
The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
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