Monday, May 01, 2006
[see Reuters.com (link)]
As are a lot of other cities in Texas and the East Coast. Yesterday we had to buy premium. That's all there was at the pump. Shell was completely out at most stations as was Valero (formerly Diamond Shamrock). I don't know about the others.
The problem: Archer Daniels and their like? Houston and a lot of other pollution problem cities must use reformulated gasoline. About one third of the gasoline sold in the U.S. goes to these pollution prone areas requiring the reformulated gas.
No, not Archer Daniels this time. It is a transportation problem. When our country went for the replacement of MTBE by ethanol in reformulated gasoline people weren't expecting this culprit: the transportation industry.
The new reformulated gas can't be carried effeciently in the pipelines as the alcohol picks up too much water. It must be done with trucks and tankers. And they didn't have their act together this time.