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How to create a gas shortage

Posted Over 1 Year ago by Xhin

1. Have a major pipeline's corporate networks get hacked.

2. Have that pipeline shut down its operations temporarily to make sure they're secure from future hacking or compromised information.

3. Have the media report that the pipeline company was hacked, the pipeline is down, but not repeat any of the actually useful context like that the hackers themselves didn't hit the pipeline or that all the people sourcing fuel from it have moved to different sources, or that the pipeline would be back up after a week.

Tl;dr like 10-20% of the gas stations in my state are out of gas, and all of this could've been prevented if the media actually did their fucking jobs and reported the actual facts for once.

There are 20 Replies


Shouldn’t there be another run on toilet paper and hand sanitizer?

Over 1 Year ago
chiarizio
 

Only a matter of time probably

Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

@Riven:
Do you think a carburetor could burn hand-sanitizer?

Over 1 Year ago
chiarizio
 

3. Have the media report that the pipeline company was hacked, the pipeline is down, but not repeat any of the actually useful context like that the hackers themselves didn't hit the pipeline or that all the people sourcing fuel from it have moved to different sources, or that the pipeline would be back up after a week.

I feel like even with this people would still scramble to get all the gas anyway. The news sources I listen to mentioned these things, but I think people will instinctively go "ZOMG NEED GAS NO MOAR GAS" when they hear "shortage" as that will trigger a whole series of reactions including ignoring useful information afterwards.

Shouldn’t there be another run on toilet paper and hand sanitizer?

It's funny you say that because we actually had this happen where I live in Early February of this year. News the COVID where on the rise, then I go to Walmart one morning to see the Toilet Paper aisle being super empty. My first reaction is, "...are we really doing this again?"

Over 1 Year ago
Forte Lambardi

I *still* don't get the toilet paper thing. I know I live alone so I don't ever need that much toilet paper at a time, but like, what is everyone eating in which they need to be hoarding dozens of rolls of TP?

Over 1 Year ago
Jet Presto

@ Jet

From what I gathered, it's basically a coping mechanism of some kind. In some cases it provides safety or ease of mind others want to have a sense of considering they can't control the virus.

Couple of articles I found on this:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/health/toilet-paper-hoarding-personality-wellness/index.htmlhttps://arstechnica.com/science/2020/06/study-people-who-hoard-toilet-paper-are-just-looking-for-a-symbol-of-safety/
You and I are similar in that we both lived alone, and asked the same question (and even after my reading I still don't get it lol). I had stock-piled toilet paper at the start of the pandemic due to the possibly that I can't get anyway (not because I am losing my mind about the pandemic). This also was the same for other goods (such as white rice).

Over 1 Year ago
Forte Lambardi

It's just like, the idea was you stock up on a month's worth of supplies so you don't have to go out in public often. Why buy 6 months' worth of toilet paper if you can't really buy more than a month's worth of fruits and vegetables? (I guess I don't actually know how long frozen stuff lasts.) And if everyone just buys what they need for the month, there's plenty for everyone! Humans are so weird sometimes.

Over 1 Year ago
Jet Presto

Humans are so weird sometimes.

Agreed. Humans are VERY irrational I am coming to find out (although it's probably not new lol).

Over 1 Year ago
Forte Lambardi

Yeah, I'm also not really willing to blame 'the media' on this, convenient punching bag though they are.

Read Colonial Pipeline's press releases, which most news sources were quoting verbatim as early as May 8th:
https://www.colpipe.com/news/press-releases/media-statement-colonial-pipeline-system-disruption
They said nothing about a projected service restoration until Monday, May 10th. At which point, there were already widespread reports of gas lines and supply issues.

Partial quote:

May 10th

While this situation remains fluid and continues to evolve, the Colonial operations team is executing a plan that involves an incremental process that will facilitate a return to service in a phased approach. This plan is based on a number of factors with safety and compliance driving our operational decisions, and the goal of substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week. The Company will provide updates as restoration efforts progress.


Situations like this evolve over time, and the media typically does its best to provide accurate information as it becomes available. I went back and surveyed some news articles from the 8th-9th, and the 'mainstream' publications largely quoted 'experts' that suggested a few days of shutdown wouldn't cause shortages. Only one of the articles quoted someone that predicted shortages.

Overall, I think this says more about general disaster-preparedness in general than the media. During California's fire season two years back, the primary utility company (PG&E) announced it was going to shut off the power pre-emptively due to high winds. I sat in line for two hours to get gas for our generator, and drove by two out-of-stock stations on my way. The bottom line is, your average gas station isn't sitting on a massive inventory if demand surges. And that's because most of our services are operating on a 'just in time' basis these days. It's great for everyone on a typical day, but not so great when the supply chain is disrupted.

I also think a fair amount of blame falls on the public at large. I saw plenty of pictures of people filling up 10+ fuel canisters in the back of their cars. Which is not only completely unnecessary in this scenario, but also just contributes to not having enough to go around.

Over 1 Year ago
Count Dooku

[scrubbed]

Over 1 Year ago
[scrubbed]

Some five to seven hours ago I went to the closest Marathon station to get a fill-up or $40 worth, which ever was less.
I had room for $27.60 in my tank. (It had been about half full.)
So the shortage on the East Coast hasn’t had a big effect yet in the Midwest.
The price is up, but not a lot.
And they weren’t out and there was no line. (That means “queue”.)

Over 1 Year ago
chiarizio
 

That hand sanitizer and TP stuff was ridiculous. It got so bad that stores tried to limit how much you could buy, but people would bring whole families to get around the limit.

Over 1 Year ago
Rika

That hand sanitizer and TP stuff was ridiculous. It got so bad that stores tried to limit how much you could buy, but people would bring whole families to get around the limit.



There's a very simple solution to this that people won't be willing to accept.

Over 1 Year ago
tnu

There's a very simple solution to this that people won't be willing to accept.

Do tell

Over 1 Year ago
Count Dooku

It got so bad that stores tried to limit how much you could buy, but people would bring whole families to get around the limit.


There were limits on a lot of things at my store -- canned goods, bottled water. There was a 4 limit on tuna longer than anything else (except hand sanitizer).

There's a very simple solution to this that people won't be willing to accept.


Increase the production of TP/hand sanitizer to meet demand? This seems to have happened with TP -- there's a lot of supply everywhere but people aren't buying it.

Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Well until you cna do that you can also raise the price to limit haording. it's much mffective than ana rtificial per person limit.

Over 1 Year ago
tnu

Well until you cna do that you can also raise the price to limit haording. it's much mffective than ana rtificial per person limit.


Price gouging doesn't really benefit anyone but the people selling the products. It would probably cause more panic if anything.

Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Price gouging doesn't really benefit anyone but the people selling the products. It would probably cause more panic if anything.


It would disincentivize panic buying and functions as a market signal to move more of the resource in question.

Over 1 Year ago
tnu

Well until you cna do that you can also raise the price to limit haording. it's much mffective than ana rtificial per person limit.

That doesn't limit hoarding. It just changes who gets to hoard.

The last thing we need right now is to confer additional advantages on the wealthy.

Over 1 Year ago
Count Dooku

That doesn't limit hoarding. It just changes who gets to hoard.


Even if that were the case which i'm sketpical of without specific examples it's more money that can go in to having a greater and cheeper supply of the vital resource more quickly. these variables don't exist in a vacuum and the legislative and store policy measures as stated don't seem to be doi ng a damn thing that's actually effective.

Over 1 Year ago
tnu

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