Post-Ike gas shortage may take weeks to end

It seems like just a short time ago we were discussing the counterproductive effect of price gouging laws.

In Alabama, legislators introduced a new law to crack down on price gouging by limiting price discrepancies in emergencies to 15 percent and raising fines to $5,000.

But Mr. Baen, the UNT industry expert, says tough stances on price gouging may have exacerbated the shortage as jobbers focused on getting gas to areas that were easier – and cheaper – to reach. Without financial incentive to get to outlying areas, those pumps simply remained dry.

That’s what seems to have happened in the mountain city of Asheville, N.C. With many independent dealers and jobbers facing long distances over steep grades, distributors with limited supplies chose their routes based on what was expedient – and profitable.

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