The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Gasoline Problems? It's Only Getting Worse

The Express-News' Business section has a good article about the supply and demand for gas in San Antonio:

Motorists, take notice: The bumpy fuel ride will continue for a while, as 11 Gulf Coast refineries are out of commission and some service stations may not get all the gas they need to fill their tanks.

That goes for San Antonio, too.

"Supplies are real tight," said Delos "Dee" Finch, owner of Sunglo Inc. in San Antonio.

Finch usually pulls eight loads of gas a day from Citgo, his major supplier. But Citgo told him Monday that he's going to get only five loads for his 18 stations in San Antonio and he won't get more until Friday.

"I can tell you what's causing the shortage," Finch said. "When you've got refineries shut down, you don't have product being put into pipelines, and we can't fill trucks and take it to the stores."

As the article goes on to state, even if all of our refineries are open, they're operating at 98 percent capacity to begin with so it doesn't matter how much more oil we can drill or find. Until we build more refineries, there's no way supply can go higher. The question then becomes is it a good economic decision to build more refineries? Refineries take time to build, and I would assume that- much like highway expansion- you're always going to be behind the demand curve.