Total Chaos In the UK As Gas Stations Run Dry; Efforts to Stop Panic Buying Have Led to… More Panic Buying
March 29th, 2012
What was a fairly minor fuel shortage sparked when gas tanker drivers in the UK threatened to go on strike has developed into what UK officials are now calling all out chaos, as drivers across the country scramble to fill their tanks amid uncertainty about when transportation services will be up and running at full capacity again.
In what may be a glimpse into the future of other industrialized Western nations that are experiencing rising gas prices and labor problems, residents of the UK were queued in hours-long lines reminiscent of the 1970′s oil crisis in the United States. The lines of drivers waiting to get their daily allotment of gas are so long that they have led police to shut down gas stations in an effort to ease traffic and avoid delays.
For their part, government officials have asked drivers to remain calm, but may have inadvertently worsened the situation when Energy Secretary Ed Davey suggested that drivers concerned with running out of gas should be “topping up when their tanks go below, say, half-full… they should actually go the full hog and fill up when they can.”
Though the intention was to calm drivers, the government’s official recommendations and actions have had the opposite effect, putting further strain on available gas supplies by prompting drivers to queue up lines in what can only be described as panic buying.