Government officials and industry experts said that panic – not fuel shortages – is responsible for the long lines and outages at North Texas gas pumps today.
“People are just panicking”, said one person getting gas for their tractor.
“Just keep looking”, he said.
“Stations see their available gasoline diminish”.
Officials said while there isn’t a shortage, prices did go up.15.
“My wife called me and told me we might be running out of gas here in Abilene, so I stopped cutting grass and came over here to get gas”, said Randy Castillo.
Gas prices in Texas rose 21 cents in a week, with almost half of that increase coming between Thursday and Friday.
A representative from H-E-B says, “The South Texas area is expected to experience short-term interruption in fuel supply due to the delay in refinery operations in Corpus Christi and in Houston”.
“It’s important to understand that this is temporary”. “Despite the country’s overall oil and gasoline inventories being at or above 5-year highs, until there is clear picture of damage and an idea when refineries can return to full operational status, gas prices will continue to increase”.
The price gouging came on the heels of panic buying sparked by reports that damage from Hurricane Harvey has put 25% of USA oil refining capacity out of commission. “Absolutely not”, said Dana Akins as she filled up her tank.