Houston -- Hurricane Katrina knocked out less than 10% of US refinery capacity. The current 'gas shortage' is in fact a reality shortage," according to experts, as several Louisiana refineries are already back on line. They're raping consumers at the pump. "Tell me drivers paying $3 or more for gas haven't already cut back more than 10% on their usage," said one consumer. "There's no shortage, just gouging."
A spokesman for the "National Gasoline Distillers and Blenders" association made the unusual asssertion that "It's true. The only real shortages are from everybody panicking at once and all filling up their tanks, in fear of higher prices to come. Exxon, BP, Mobil, they've got consumers on the run like a bunch of scared sheep. And don't think they aren't lovin' it."
Consumers sick of inflated gasoline prices can reportedly "get back" at gasoline wholesalers, refiners, and others, by buying options on crude oil on the Chicago Board of Trade. "You think oil is going to continue going up? Buy a "put" said one Maryland Lynch broker. "That way if it does, the profit you make on the "put" will offset the cost of what you put in your tank. This is known as "hedging," and has been done by farmers, and importers, for years, to shield themselves against currency fluctuations, for instance.
"Electing a Texas oil man to be President" might not have been consumers' wisest move, admitted economist Alan Greenbridge. "He lampooned John Kerry for proposing a $1/gallon tax for mass transit back when gas was $1.78 a gallon. Now it's above $3 and there's still no mass transit. But his cronies in Texas are kissing his feet," said Greenpeace.
So there it is; Katrina briefly shut down a number of small refineries in Louisiana, production was immediately boosted at refineries elsewhere, a maximum of 10% capacity was lost, and in spite of it all, gas prices skyrocketed, along with the sales of butt ugly hybrid cars. Next time you fill your tank, be sure and thank a Republican.