AUSTIN (KXAN) — Central Texans are having problems at the pump — many have pulled up to gas stations to find out there is no gasoline or the pumps are not operational.
Fuel experts say there is no shortage of gasoline in the state, but there are disruptions in the supply chain from the hazardous winter weather.
Paul Hardin, the president and CEO of the Texas Food and Fuel Association, said distributers and retailers are not willing to risk putting their massive fuel tankers on the road during icy road conditions.
“We would love to squash that rumor that we are not running out of fuel. It is just a delivery issue due to the weather. We have plenty of fuel,” Hardin said. “Assuming the roads are safe and passable tomorrow, I see no reason that our folks won’t be out refueling our gas stations and making sure those folks are filled up.”
Hardin warned against panic-buying gas, something that happened after Hurricane Harvey. In 2017, lines of cars waited hours to get their hands on gas, and the refineries couldn’t keep up with production, causing an immediate crisis.
He said people buying gasoline unnecessarily right now are taking it away from first responders and hospitals who need it to keep the public safe.
“I would hope that our fellow Texans would have learned a valuable lesson on panic-buying from Hurricane Harvey, but unfortunately it seems like that is already taking place,” Hardin said. “Be patient. If you don’t have to be on the road, don’t be on the road. In a couple of days, things are going to thaw out.”
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced that FEMA would be bringing diesel fuel to Texas to help power generators. FEMA is also supplying blankets and water.