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Published:September 22nd, 2008 22:02 EST
Gas Shortage Blues

Gas Shortage Blues

By Robert Paul Reyes

I was born in San Francisco and I lived there most of my life, but about eight years ago I moved to Virginia. There are many benefits to living in the most beautiful city in the world, but there is one serious drawback: The sky-high price of gas.

When I called my friends in the Bay Area I used to gloat about the cheap gas in Virginia, but thanks to Hurricane Ike I`m now paying as much as they are. To make matters worse there are now gas shortages in Virginia and other southern states.

This excerpt from a Tennessee TV station Web site reflects the seriousness of the gas shortage:

"Many communities gripped by a gas shortage were in panic mode over the weekend, and bad news from AAA did not help to calm them.

AAA said Saturday that supplies may not return to normal until late next week, but until then, they said everyone needs to deal with the crisis in a reasonable manner.

The latest updated comes the day after Gov. Phil Bredesen stated that the colonial pipeline that provides much of the area`s supply was at 100 percent capacity.

AAA stated that the pipeline is still experiencing interruptions due to power problems caused by Hurricane Ike."

The right to the pursuit of happiness is an American birthright, but how can we pursue happiness without a full tank of gas? I need gas to drive to the movies, get away for the weekend, or patronize my favorite restaurant.

Without a full tank of gas I`m less of a man; I`m a prisoner restricted to amusements that are within walking distance.

It`s unnerving to drive by gas stations with signs indicating that they are out of gas. I know that this is a temporary situation, but it`s scary because I realize I may be getting a taste of the near future. If there`s a gas shortage in some states because a few refineries shut down due to Hurricane Ike, what in God`s name will happen if terrorists destroy the Saudi oil installations or if the Arab states stop selling us gas if Israel attacks Iran?

This gas shortage should be a wake up call to consumers and politicians, we must elect politicians who are committed to finding and developing alternate sources of energy.

Of course it`s way too late in the game to do anything that will have immediate consequences, but at least our children and our grandchildren shouldn`t be at the mercy of oil-exporting countries.