Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gasoline Shortage Becomes Emergency in Atlanta

Monday evening, many Atlanta area gas stations and were completely out
Southern Political Report

Metro Atlanta’s gas shortage and the panic-buying that’s ensued is compounded by the fact that environmental rules require a special blend of gas for the region - - and that special blend is in short supply. In much of the rest of Georgia, where there are no such rules, there is no shortage, officials say.

A special blend of gas, known as the “Atlanta blend,” is required for Atlanta because of its non-attainment status for air quality. The Atlanta blend includes oxygenates such as ethanol which help fuel burn cleaner.

By Monday evening, many Atlanta area gas stations and convenience marts were completely out of the Atlanta blend while others were seeing lines of 75 to 100 cars waiting for up to two hours for motor fuel.

Some had called on Gov. Sonny Perdue to request a waiver from the EPA to allow the temporary sale of the more plentiful higher-sulfur fuel. Late Monday, the governor’s office said he has made that request.

In addition, spokesman Bert Brantley said the state already has lifted some regulations allowing for drivers to work more hours to get fuel from the main terminal to stations and for heavier trucks to be allowed to carry larger loads than normal.

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