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Judy Hedding

Phoenix Gasoline Crisis

By August 19, 2003

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The Governor is asking that we not refer to the gas problems as a crisis, but rather as a problem. When a pipeline that provides half the gasoline to the Phoenix area was closed down last week to due a rupture, we thought the problem would be rectified in a few days, but that hasn't turned out to be the case. That old axiom that says it's going to get worse before it gets better has proven true again.
On July 30th Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the company that owns the Tucson to Phoenix pipeline, announced that the pipeline had ruptured. On August 8th the company voluntarily shut down the pipeline, citing that safety is their number one concern. Since then gas has been hard to come by, with many of the valley's gas stations running out of gasoline and closing down altogether. Long lines to fill up, flaring tempers, hoarding and price gouging are all in full bloom in the Valley of the Sun.

Federal agencies have now approved testing on the affected pipeline, and Kinder Morgan said today that they will begin testing immediately. If all goes well, the pipeline could be fully operational by this weekend.

Let's hope that not only our gasoline supply returns to normal, but that something can be done to eliminate the price gouging that goes on in this state every time something like this happens. Those in the know seem to think that the incorrigible actions of some gas station owners during this crisis, charging three and four dollars per gallon, will lead the Arizona Attorney General to push for price gouging penalties during the next legislative session.

Important!
Don't store gasoline in containers that aren't made for gasoline. If you are one of those people who filled up a few gas cans, be extremely careful when storing them!

Important Resources for Updated Information

Anti-gouging statute may be in state's future, by The Arizona Republic
Kinder Morgan Press Releases
Frequently Asked Questions About Gasoline
Get What You Pay For at the Gas Pump

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