RALEIGH – The initial wave of panic has subsided, and fuel is flowing again through the Colonial Pipeline, but plenty of states still sport significant outages. North Carolina is chief of among them, leading the nation in low gas supply.
Most states saw slight declines overnight in outages. A couple remained unchanged, including DC, still with 70% of stations reported being without fuel.
NC – 47% ⬇️
SC – 43% ⬇️
GA – 38% ⬇️
VA – 27% ⬇️
TN – 23% ⬇️
MD – 23% ⬇️
— GasBuddy (@GasBuddy) May 18, 2021
North Carolina topped out at more than 70 percent of stations running dry mid last week as a declared state of emergency and news reports of possible disruptions cascaded into a fill up frenzy that emptied station tanks across the state.
Monday morning is the first time since that initial run on supplies that North Carolina has had more than 50 percent of stations with gas. It’s a marked improvement from even just Sunday night, when that number was still 57 percent, owing to fresh tanker deliveries and the continued general easing of the demand spree.
Meanwhile, prices paid for gas have naturally been driven up. There will be plenty of admonishments and reports of price gouging, but most people understand the dynamic between supply and demand means they’ll pay more (and maybe hoarding-related outages would have been less if stations could charge a premium?).
At 30 cents though, the Colonial spike represents less than a third of the increase over the last year. The rest of that dollar increase is owed to larger forces; factors like inflation, oil prices, demand, and disasters like that in Texas that still reverberate through the broader economy.
Oh, and we must not forget Democrats’ general opposition to reliable sources of fuel. Democratic leaders like President Joe Biden and Governor Roy Cooper, the Left in general, support policies that necessarily squeeze all the good energy sources and infrastructure in favor of crony green fantasies.
The outages are affecting states throughout the region, but North Carolina’s distinction as most sensitive to fuel disruptions certainly is no way alleviated by having an opponent of reliable energy and free markets at the helm.