In response to Don Roberts

Published 9:08 pm Monday, September 29, 2008

When I read the letter in the Suffolk News-Herald on Friday, September 19, I was shocked. The letter was from Suffolk resident Don Roberts, and he shared his experience at one gas station after Hurricane Ike hit Texas. That the gas companies would take advantage of people like that is dreadful. No one would argue in that case that the station owners were gouging their customers. That is very plain to me, anyway. However, perhaps the oil companies are not all trying to gouge their customers. Another cause for the price going up lies in the customers. When people hear about things like Hurricane Ike coming ashore near the oil refineries, they panic. Certain that the price will go up very soon, they decide to stock up before the it does. Suddenly it is time to fill up the the car and a few tanks as well. If enough people panic like that and buy more gas than they normally might, then the demand is greater than the supply. A gas shortage could be caused simply because of people heard that there might be a gas shortage. So the high price of gas is not entirely the oil companies, though Don Roberts story leaves us with little doubt of what that many gas companies are to blame. Next time a scare like Hurricane Ike comes along, the best thing we can do is keep calm and try not to make the situation worse.


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