Florida Gas Shortage? Blame Environmentalists | National Review
"And we’d better get ready for them.
Gasoline prices are falling, but you can’t buy the stuff.
In the wake of one hurricane and in the face of another, the price of gasoline — as measured by gasoline futures — declined last week, even as the U.S. gasoline inventory was drawn down.
You’d think that gasoline prices should be spiking, but spontaneous orders are sometimes counterintuitive:
Hurricane Harvey temporarily shut down a significant portion of the nation’s oil refineries, reducing the demand for crude and resulting in slightly lower oil prices.
But our refineries are pretty robust, and investors have calculated that the temporary reduction in refining capacity will be reversed quickly...
And so the price of gasoline futures, which are essentially bets on the future price of gasoline, have declined.
That’s the future.
In the present, it’s damned hard to get a gallon of gasoline in parts of Florida, which is a problem for Floridians looking to high-tail it up the northbound lanes out of the path of Hurricane Irma.
Between 2007 and 2014, Florida’s daily gasoline consumption shrank significantly — by about 90,000 barrels.
In 2012, two Caribbean refineries that had supplied Florida with a significant share of its gasoline were idled, leaving Florida more dependent upon refineries located along the Gulf Coast.
That’s all well and good when the weather is fair, but Hurricane Harvey disrupted things.
For one thing, it forced the shutdown of several refineries in the Houston area.
For another, it made navigating the Gulf of Mexico treacherous — you don’t want to sail an oil barge into a hurricane.
And there is no gasoline pipeline connecting those Gulf Coast refineries to Florida: that trade is conducted by boat.
Pipelines are the cheapest and safest way to move petroleum products from producers to consumers, but America’s fanatical environmentalists, who oppose the development of new energy infrastructure categorically, have been remarkably successful in blocking or delaying the development of new pipelines, as well as other projects, such as coal-export terminals connecting U.S. producers to Asian markets.
We have plenty of gasoline, and it’s cheap.
But we are having a hard time getting it to Florida..."