22 August 2003

Valley "Dirty Dozen" Gas Station List

KTAR David Leibowitz asked listeners to fax in receipts from local gas stations engaging in gouging customers during the gas shortage due to the busted Kinder Morgan pipeline. He's composed a list of the egregious violators and published it via his Leibo letter (I think it's posted on the KTAR web site now too). Gouging was defined as charging over $2.50 per gallon. You too can fax a receipt (602-241-6810) if you discover a service station owner goring the public and it will make the list if the price beats these...
  1. The Lucky 7 Tire Shop, 8946 N. 7th Street, Phoenix charged $3.97 a gallon on August 19th.
  2. T's 76 Station, 710 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix charged $3.80 a gallon on August 19th. (A note about these losers: I passed by there this morning and they'd lowered the price by a buck. If that sounds like a bargain, they're still 50 cents higher than the rest of the neighborhood. The good news? The pumps looked like a ghost town)
  3. The 7th Street Exxon, 1919 S. 7th Street, Phoenix, charged $3.00 a gallon on August 19th.
  4. Bell & I-17 Exxon, Phoenix, charged $2.96 a gallon on August 20th.
  5. Alta Mesa Chevron, 5965 E. Brown, Mesa, charged $2.90 a gallon on August 19th.
  6. Q Star Market, Apache and Rural, Tempe, charged $2.80 a gallon on August 19th.
  7. Ranch Texaco, 9550 N. 90th Street, Scottsdale, charged $2.80 a gallon on August 20th.
  8. Texaco, 83rd Place and Hayden, charged $2.80 a gallon on August 20th.
  9. Towers Texaco, 2816 S. Country Club, Mesa, charged $2.70 a gallon on August 20th.
  10. Superior 76, 6262 E. Main St., Mesa, charged $2.70 a gallon on August 20th.
  11. Francis & Sons 76, 7934 W. Thunderbird, Peoria, charged $2.70 on August 18th.
  12. Goldfield Chevron, 3265 S. Goldfield, Apache Junction, charged $2.70 a gallon on August 18th.

Leibowitz's efforts attracted national attention, as the Washington Post even commented upon his campaign.

19 August 2003

Gasoline Industry in the Valley is Broken

Governor Napolitano calls out Kinder Morgan in an Tuesday afternoon press conference.
Napolitano met with pipeline owner Kinder Morgan this afternoon and said she wasn't satisfied with the answers she received.

The governor questioned why a 50-year-old gas pipeline wasn't inspected more often, and wondered why plans put in place to move more fuel into the Valley while the pipeline was down.

Napolitano stressed that the gas shortage predicament the Phoenix area is experiencing is due to the shut down pipeline owned by a private company. She expressed angst over the fact that no redundancy was setup and no contingency plans were in place in case of potential problems.

17 August 2003

Valley Gas Pumps Run Dry

Most all of the gas stations in the Phoenix area vicinity are closed for business. Signs and yellow tape announcing "Out of Gas". Across the Valley, motorists are waiting in long lines, in some instances spending hours, at the few spots that do have gasoline. Governor Napolitano told KTAR radio host Michael Hagerty that supply was in existence, but distribution seems to be the problem. Tanker trucks are delivering gasoline to Phoenix from Tucson, as the pipeline, managed by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, has been shut down for repairs. Some customers are reporting that pump prices have risen to close to $3 per gallon at some stations.

Yoy, one pipeline ruptures and the whole Phoenix motorists are crippled. Good Gates, what a tempting target for a plotting terrorist. With no refineries in Arizona, fuel must be piped in. But there are only two pipelines connected - one comes via Tucson from Texas and the other from Los Angeles.

And this news blurb from KFYI is comforting:

"Chuck" worked for Williams Pipeline from September 1999 to August 2000. His job was to place new fiber along the Kinder-Morgan pipeline that broke down over a week ago. He was shocked to see the condition of the 44-year-old pipeline. He says the pipeline is flaking and is ten years beyond the time for it to be replaced. The state Attorney General's office is in contact with the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy and other Attorneys General to monitor the supply and price situation.

» read more

11 August 2003

Land of the Midnight Inferno

July was the hottest month in recorded history for Phoenix area residents. And yesterday, the thermometer topped out at 116 degrees, setting a new record for a high temperature in August. As I compose this report, even after darkness has set in for a couple of hours, it's 108 degrees in Phoenix.

It sure turned Sunday yard work into a grueling adventure. The hand on my back porch wall thermometer eclipsed 100 before 8 am. Frantically finishing up, I had to take numerous breaks toward the end of my chores. Nearly five hours were spent toiling under the fiery sun. I debated getting an earlier start, but didn't think my neighbors would be too appreciative at the sound of my lawn mower at 6 am on a Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, in Europe, a record heatwave that has brung triple digit temperatures, now in its second week, is taxing utility companies and responsible for many deaths. Air conditioning is not a fixture in Northern Europe where the average summertime temperature is in the 70 degree range.