Railroad Commissioner: No fuel crisis in Texas

Mad dash for gas in North Texas

Long lines, frustration and panic. Rumors of a gas shortage spread quickly.

"It all started last night fill up your cars, fill up your cars. Is that where you first saw it? I heard it on social media plus some friends of mine,” said consumer Ray Banks.

Bruce Bullock is the director of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute. “We really haven't seen this kind of craziness since the 1970's with lines wrapped around gasoline stations,” said Bullock.

He says there is plenty of gasoline in North Texas.

WFAA went out to a tank farm in South Dallas and watched truck after truck fill up with gasoline to take to local stations. WFAA followed one truck to this station in Irving, where people quickly lined up when they saw the truck.

"I was over here at the Shell station to begin with and there were too many people over there. I saw him, and I thought I would fill up," Seth Little, a consumer, said. 

Experts say consumers are putting an undue demand on fuel.

"We have seen panic buying people wanting to top off tanks sure to make sure their tanks and all the cars are full. As a result we see these kinds of line and what is in effect an artificial shortage," Bullock said. 

Experts say there is plenty of supply. Take a look at the numbers provided by the Texas Railroad Commissioner.

The entire world uses 100 million barrels of refined product daily. The U.S. refines 18 million of that. Six million barrels are refined in Texas only about half of that is off line because of Harvey.

"There will be supply and supply is on the way," Bullock said. 

Experts say they understand people are fearful because of Hurricane Harvey, but they ask consumers to stay calm and let this all settle down.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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