The Risks and Negative Impacts of Gasoline Hoarding
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Have you been seeing people hoard loads of extra gasoline and wondered if that’s what you should do too? Storing fuel can be extremely dangerous if you don’t do it right. The pandemic has caused issues with everything from rental cars and lack of new car sales.
But, gasoline hoarding is a spinoff of the toilet paper frenzy which was made worse by panic-buying. The gasoline supply will go back to normal according to Autoweek. What’s causing the gasoline shortage and what are the dangers of storing gas incorrectly?
Why is it dangerous to store gasoline incorrectly?
Gasoline is flammable. If you live in a warm environment, paired with improper storage, you can easily start a fire.
Even if you use an approved gas container, the fuel can release vapors when you transfer it. The vapors can light on fire or cause an explosion if you’re near anything that can ignite it like a cigarette.
Brad Jenkins, the senior vice president of supply and distribution for Pilot Flying J, told Autoweek that storing gas in a plastic bag is an extremely bad idea. "Gasoline is corrosive and is going to eat through that bag relatively quickly," Jenkins said.
Jenkins added that, "gasoline, diesel fluid all expand under heat. So, when that happens you want it to be vented to let what air or vapors out. If it’s venting vapors, you definitely don’t want an ignition source nearby causing an issue."
What is causing the fuel shortage?
For the U.S., about 65% of gasoline production takes place in the Gulf coast, according to Jenkins. A big pipeline runs from Houston, in the Gulf coast area, to New Jersey with fuel banks that drop off fuel.
This pipeline can store six days worth of gas supply at a time. When this pipeline is shut down, there’s not enough inventory elsewhere to meet demand.
Trucks can’t transport the amount of gas that pipelines can transport; pipelines pump 100,000 barrels an hour while trucks can only haul 200. So gas stations aren’t able to refuel fast enough to keep up with both the demand for fuel and fuel hoarding.
When will the fuel supply go back to normal?
It might seem like a good idea to store gasoline to protect yourself against rising gas prices, but storing gas incorrectly is risky and dangerous. One of the main reasons behind gas shortages is the gasoline hoarding by the public. It’s not worth the danger and hoarding gasoline will only prolong the shortage.
As mentioned by Autoweek, the Colonial pipeline resumed service on May 12, and they should start to improve this week before Memorial Day weekend. Meanwhile, if you want to save costs on your car, there is a safer, hassle-free way to do so.
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