Lack of gasoline in the Southeastern US

Have you been following the news about the significant gasoline shortages that being seen in the southeastern states? They’re due to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and the damage to a major pipeline (and shutting down of refineries just north of Houston). The problem is being made worse because we were already at low supply levels going into the height of hurricane season.

Saw this story over on Yahoo this morning:

“This is how serious the Southeastern gas shortage has become: There’s talk of calling off college football.

Not serious talk, of course. A petroleum executive’s suggestion that No. 3 Georgia postpone its Saturday night game against No. 8 Alabama was quickly dismissed Friday by the Georgia governor’s office as ‘ridiculous.’

But the university’s police chief did suggest fans who can’t make a round trip to Sanford Stadium on a single tank stay home.

Weeks after Hurricane Ike shut down Gulf Coast refineries and dried up interstate pipelines, some panicked drivers are still waiting in long lines to top off their tanks at the few stations with fuel.

Many across the Southeast are keeping their cars in the garage this weekend, forced to cancel plans for fear they’ll run out of gas.”

Read the full article here.

I’m wondering if there’s any similar effect on churchgoers, especially those who attend churches that aren’t within walking distance?

I’ve been concerned for a while that there was going to be problem for churches that haven’t been able to become a part of the neighborhood in which they are placed. (Which is a common situation for Episcopal Churches that frequently have large portions of their congregations driving back to the church they grew up in, or in which they raised their children.) The Roman Catholic diocese of Pittsburgh had to close a number of parishes in the 90’s because of that problem. Lots of the parishes were ethnic parishes that were founded when the immigrants arrived at the turn of the century and settled into tight local communities. As the second and third generations dispersed, the parishes never managed to stop being ethic congregations and as such weren’t able to fully welcome their new neighbors.

High gas costs, or more worryingly shortages, are going make this problem much worse in the short run.

Author: Nick Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...