There’s no need for panicking

Published 10:38 pm Saturday, September 13, 2008

We’ve had another panic on gasoline, the second one in three years after a major hurricane hits the Texas area, and this one seems very unnecessary. While we are seeing a tight supply for gasoline, there is still plenty of gasoline for everyone out there, and we aren’t running out anytime soon.

Yes, some service stations did run out of fuel Friday, but that’s only because people across the southeastern U.S. decided to panic. So many people decided not only to fill up their gas tanks but also fill up their gas cans that some stations just ran out. No gas station is ever ready for that kind of panic buying on any day.

The panic situation got so bad Friday that Gov. Bob Riley had to declare a state of emergency. The funny thing about that is the panic ended once we got that declaration. It eased everybody’s minds to know that we were in an emergency that was actually created only by our worries and fears.

Everyone in Chilton County and across the state heard the rumors that gas prices are going up to $5 to $5.50 per gallon. That may be partially true, but not every gas station will be selling gas at that price. Only the stations that buy their gas from day-to-day will see prices that high. Other stations that have more long-term contract won’t see those kinds of prices because they will be able to purchase their fuel supply for a much lower price.

This just shows you the power of rumors and speculation. A rumor usually has basis in fact, but once it gets spread around by a few people, it gets more and more exaggerated until that word of mouth knowledge is untrue. That is the case here with the rumor that circulated Thursday and Friday of last week.

Why do we get so excited when gas prices go up so much? Do we get that excited when Alabama Power decides to raise rates by 25 percent? We think not.

Next time you hear a rumor about gas prices, just take a deep breath and don’t worry about it. Sure the price of gas may go up some, but it won’t be as bad as the rumor.