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Hello. I am a correspondent with CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. My family and I are also residents of Atlanta, Georgia. My question for you: Are Atlanta and nearby regional cities such as Charlotte and Nashville part of America?
The reason I ask is this: We have almost no gasoline, while almost all other cities in the United States have all the gasoline they want.
We are spending hours cruising the streets and highways looking for gas. Only a small percentage of stations have fuel and you never know who will have it.
Many gas station owners jack up their prices and scores of vehicles lining up are creating dangerous driving conditions on clogged streets and highways.
People cut in line, either accidentally or on purpose, and tempers flare. Violence is always a possibility.
Now, I remember back in the early 70’s and the late 70’s when the whole nation suffered like this. But we suffered collectively, as a nation.
Now, it’s only our small region of the country suffering. The experts say it’s because of supply problems as a result of the hurricanes. Never mind that Houston and Dallas, two cities much closer to Ike have gas.
We are expected to chill and not worry. I say that because some of our local politicians insist that this is not a major problem and that people are “panicking.” Hey, I’m as calm as can be. But I am angry at the lack of understanding.
I hate to tell you political leaders who don’t drive your own cars all that much, but this is a major problem. In the last week, I have traveled to Miami, New York City, and Anchorage, Alaska and watched enviously as drivers got gas easily with no wait.
So here’s my thought: Since we’re all part of America, maybe some of our national politicians can get us some gas. I figure if this was happening in Washington (or places like New York or LA) for that matter, this wouldn’t be allowed to happen.
Meanwhile, maybe some of the politicians in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, can get a little more worked up — whether they agree or not — about something that is causing much havoc in their states.
If y’all don’t think it worth helping us, perhaps we’ll vote you out. That is, if we have the gas to make it to the polls.
Q: Why are we having gas shortages in Atlanta? A: Hurricanes Gustav and Ike hit back-to-back. The refineries shut down in anticipation of Gustav. Then Ike hit and the gas production and refineries didn’t restart because of power outages. That also affected the operation of major pipelines that move gas from refining areas in the Gulf Coast to facilities throughout the Southeast.
It is easy to ignore because I am in DENVER. Until the shortage hits here, I will give it more consideration. So, you know, you gotta gas-up your car somehow