The Locker Room

Shortages brought about by NC's ridiculous "anti-gouging" law continue

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:59 AM

It's been two weeks now, and well, we told 'em so.


Two weeks after Hurricane Ike disrupted oil production, a gasoline shortage continues in parts of North Carolina.

Asheville city officials have closed offices, the civic center and all parks and recreation centers because of the shortage.

Some Charlotte stations are rationing gas. There have been fights as drivers accuse each other of breaking in line.

My favorite part of the article: "Gifford says it's important for people not to buy gas unless they need it." Well, guess what the freedom to set market prices would have done? Encourage drivers to conserve voluntarily! The price would help them determine how much they really "need." (Demand curves still slope downwards.)

Added at 12:47 p.m.: The News & Observer reports:

But the lines and traffic disruptions that dominated on Thursday continued this morning, with people in some cases having parked at gas stations overnight, waiting near the pumps with their tanks on empty. As was the case yesterday, arguments and scuffles are breaking out as frustrations boiled over.

A woman in line at a Citgo station in Charlotte this morning told others in line she was saving a place for her father, who was on his way with gas cans. The station, at Parkwood Avenue and The Plaza, was selling only premium gas. The wait was about 45 minutes.

Several residents got out of their cars and began cursing at the woman, who went nose to nose with one man before someone called 911 amid a chorus of car horns. In pouring rain, one man threatened to "hurt" the driver of a Ford F150 who was confused by the line and got to the pump before him. Two police officers arrived and calmed everyone down.

By the way, on my drive in this morning, I noticed several police cars at a gasoline station on So. Saunders Street. In the brief time I had to survey the matter, it appeared as if someone had either driven off without paying or driven off with the pump nozzle still in the tank.

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