Amid panic about Alabama oil pipeline burst, TN is in the clear


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Alejandro Monzon

Amid panic and fear of a gas shortage after the burst and closure of a major southeastern gas pipeline in Alabama, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) claims that Tennessee is not experiencing shortages.

Throughout the Nashville area, residents have shown up in droves to purchase gas, resulting in long lines and even some stations running out of fuel.

“I, Friday night, went to get gas and went to the first gas station,” said junior Annalee Schuck. “They were out.”

Life as a Vanderbilt student can carry on without the use of a car, but families from across the U.S. will be arriving on campus this week for Parents’ Weekend, Sept. 22-24.

“My mom was actually asking about that. I told her to fill up outside of Nashville,” said Schuck. For parents who are driving in, gas prices and supply might play a limiting factor in how much city exploring goes on this weekend.

“We’ll probably Uber most of the time,” Schuck said.

However, TEMA is emphasizing that Tennessee gets its gas from at least two other pipeline sources that run through Tennessee, and that the state itself is not facing a gas shortage. They encourage drivers to maintain their normal gas routines, as the sudden increased demand will put upward pressure on gas prices if it continues, according to Dan Fleaner, a spokesperson for TEMA.

According to GasBuddy, average gas prices have gone up around 13 cents a gallon since last week, from $1.99 to $2.12, due to the panicked buying.

Memories of when Hurricane Ike struck Texas in 2008, when an estimated 85 percent of gas stations were out of fuel, have caused local residents to panic about the possible shortage. City officials, however, don’t believe that will be the case this time.