No Gas In Atlanta - Panic Ensues
While I was in my blissful poetry weekend, I decided to turn off the telly and not pay any attention to politics or local news. Silly me. I had heard there were gas shortages at some stations in Atlanta, but didn't realize the full scope until today. Gasoline is very hard to come by in the metro Atlanta area and there has been a full on panic.
After work, my low fuel light came on and I figured I'd have to drive around to a few stations to find working pumps. A tour of southeast Atlanta ensued. No gas anywhere. Then I started to panic a little bit myself. Of course, I'm driving around wasting gas looking for gas, and I finally gave up and came home. BFF Mal called later on and said there was gas at the QuickTrip on Briarcliff Road, but the cars were five deep (which was better than the hour and a half wait at many stations today). So, about 7:30 p.m. I jumped in the car and raced up to the QuickTrip and there was indeed a wait, but I managed to fill up my tank. Sadly, there were morons there in their giant SUVs, not only filling them up but filling up multiple gas cans. That's why we have no gas...okay, not the only reason, but that kind of over-buying is why there's none to go around.
Atlanta is under EPA restrictions because this place is one big smog bowl, so we are required to have "boutique" gasoline, which burns cleaner. With Hurricanes Ike and Gustav slamming into the Gulf Coast, refining has been disrupted and we're in an even bigger mess here because we need a special kind of gas. Our Republican right wing sonofabitch Gov. Sonny Purdue ignored warnings that Atlanta could be facing a gasoline shortage and waited until late this afternoon to ask the EPA to temporarily waive the restrictions. God knows how long it will take to cut all that red tape.
We have inadequate public transport in Atlanta. Despite having a subway, it goes nowhere and, like Los Angeles, the metro area is a one big sprawl. And also like LA, we have a car culture here. There's been plenty of bitching and moaning on lots of local blogs blaming Bush (he's only partly to blame), but this kind of gas shortage is a harbinger of things to come if America doesn't seriously begin moving toward alternative fuels, and I don't mean more drilling for oil. With the economy collapsing and now this, it feels like this country is teetering on precipice and one more disaster will send us right over the edge. Thank god the Democrats are pushing back on the Bush Administration's blank check to bail out Wall Street. This administration seems hellbent on driving the country right into the ground before Bush leaves office.