Is South Dakota Heading for a Gas Shortage?
If you're like a lot of Americans who have been holed up or quarantined at home for over a year, you are chomping at the bit to get out of the house and hit the road.
Whether you're visiting a location fairly close to home or a destination far away, we all may be running into a problem we haven't seen since the 1970s - - a shortage of gas at the pumps.
In the 1970s disrupted oil supplies thanks to OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), closed refineries, and some of the worst gas-guzzling vehicles to ever hit the American roadways, all conspired to force people across the country to wait in long lines for a fill-up. We also learned just why it was so hard to "drive 55"!
This issue more than likely will again be affecting every state in the country including South Dakota. However, this shortage will not be a shortage of the actual product, it will be due to a lack of fuel tanker truck drivers to get the gas to our local stations.
And before you ask, yes this is due to the pandemic. Americans simply weren't driving a whole lot in 2020 and gas demand was reduced to a basement-like level.
Drivers quit the business in droves to pursue other work opportunities, many of them moving to construction, which as we all know was and is still booming. One truck driving company executive said their drivers were even delivering Amazon packages just to keep working.
Popular vacation locations in Florida and Arizona have already had some outages during the recent Spring Break period, and the possibility that there may be more does exist.
So if you're planning a road trip, be aware that you may find some gas stations - -minus the gas.
Sources: CNN, NPR, and Triple A