No Gas At Any Price: CA Gas Stations Turning Off the Pumps
A shortage of gas has some California gas station owners shutting off the pumps.
Gasoline station owners in the Los Angeles area including Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) are beginning to shut pumps because of supply shortages that have driven wholesale fuel prices to record highs.
“We’re going to start shutting pumps Friday,” Sam Krikorian, owner of Quality Auto Repair in North Hollywood, said by phone yesterday. “Gas is costing me almost $4.75 a gallon with taxes. There’s no sense in staying open. The profit margins are so low it’s not worth it.”
Much of this is due to temporary factors, but we’ve over-regulated the sector into corners like this. The refinery system is too tightly balanced because we don’t build refineries anymore and gas can’t flow into California due to the crazy “boutique blends” regime. We’ve made the system too fragile so it can’t overcome these temporary glitches easily. Plus we have a bunch of anti-carbon zealots running the show, and this is likely a preferred outcome in their view.