No gasoline shortage, drivers still line up at gas stations


ABILENE, Texas - There may not be a gasoline shortage, according to Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton.

However, that hasn't kept Big Country drivers from lining up at stations to fuel up, temporarily causing some stations to run out of gas.

"People are just panicking," said one person getting gas for their tractor.

McMurry University economist Dr. Paul Mason said it was just a chain effect. When people hear there is a shortage of gas, they race to the pumps, which is what happened Thursday

"Stations see their available gasoline diminish... They're going to try and raise the price, take advantage of the last few drops of gasoline that they have," Mason said.

"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.

Although there isn't a shortage of gas in Texas, reduced supply will mean higher prices. According to Gas Buddy, it went up 20 cents in Abilene on Thursday.

Some gas stations closed because of the increase in drivers getting gas.

"So people who wouldn't ordinarily buy gas until next week or the week after are racing out to buy gas and that's depleting the supplies as well," Mason said.

Mason said drivers can expect this to continue for possibly another week before all refineries are back in production, shipping their regular amounts.

"It's important to understand that this is temporary. This is not like the gas lines of the 1970s, where there's an extended restriction of supply," Mason said.

Once the refineries are up and running, the price of gas should drop back down.

"Price gouging and running out of gas should not be a problem. I know they shut down in the gulf, but that has nothing to do with what we have stockpiled. Absolutely not," said Dana Akins as she filled up her tank.