Rumors produce panic gas buying - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Rumors produce panic gas buying

August 31, 2005

Albany- The lines at many gas stations were five cars deep at each pump. Many who found gas for $2.88 at the Petro on Dawson Road considered themselves lucky, but the price quickly climbed to above three dollars.

"It's outrageous, really," said Monique Brown of Albany.

"I hate $3.01, let's go back to $2.88 and lower," said Robert Mansfield, of Dawson.

Rumors of a gas shortage or rationing sent many rushing to the pumps. "In my job, my car is my office, and I travel a lot and I have to go see my clients, it's scary," said Shelia Mims, of Albany.

But those rumors are just that, rumors. "I think the frenzy right now going on with all the panic and people thinking there's going to be a shortage is causing more problems than the actual shortage itself," said Wright Woodall, Woodall's owner.

Station owners say the frenzy is actually driving the price up. "The barrel price came down today, well the problem is you've got crude, we just can't refine it, we've lost a lot of refining capacity in the gulf and Louisiana," said Woodall.

While there is some concern about supply lines from Louisiana, gas is still available, and many stations can refill their tanks after midnight Wednesday.

"There's one thing certain and gas is going to continue to go up, so to keep your tank full is a smart move, to panic today is probably not justified," said Woodall.

"No matter what the gas price is people are going to have to buy gas regardless, because I have to go to school everyday and I have a daughter that has to go to school everyday," said Brown.

There were reports elsewhere in the state of gas up to five or six dollars a gallon. Wednesday, Governor Sonny Perdue signed an executive order enacting Georgia's price gouging statute.

If you suspect price gouging, you can call the hotline at 1-800-869-1123.

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