Here’s What Would Happen if the US Ran Out of Diesel
(USNewsMag.com) – The United States recently hit its lowest supply of diesel reserves since 2008 — enough to cover only 25.4 days — as of October 14. It couldn’t come at worse timing, either, as the winter months are looming just around the corner. The report caused many to sound the alarm that it might just be possible for us to run out of diesel, perhaps even before Thanksgiving. While experts don’t believe it will happen, there’s no denying the catastrophic effect it would have on the country.
Who Will Be Affected?
The commerce industry would be one of the hardest hit industries as it essentially runs on diesel. From the ships that transport the goods to several countries to the rails and big trucks that move them along to their destinations, they all run on the commodity.
Then, there’s the farming industry which relies on diesel to power its heavy equipment to carry out nearly every function. Backhoes and tractors are among the most used, and they run through several gallons of diesel each day.
Shortages Driving up Prices
In the interim, diesel prices are still insanely high compared to where they were just a year ago, according to AAA. This time last year, the average cost per gallon was $3.636. Today, it’s $5.308. And these costs are being passed along to consumers who are already battling historic inflation rates.
Mansfield Energy recently put out a supply alert warning that increasing demand will result in higher prices for diesel and that there may be shortages in the Southeast and Northeast, where they put out a Code Red warning — requesting 72-hour notice for delivery — and a Level 4 alert — warning of market volatility, respectively.
Here’s Why Experts Say It Likely Won’t Happen
While it’s always good to be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best, companies like Mansfield Energy, which recently put certain regions on alert for the shortages, state that the industry is dynamic and, therefore, will rebound quickly. Any shortages will be short-term and temporary.
Chief oil analyst Denton Cinquegrana of the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) says all of the refineries would have to stop running and pipelines shut down in order for the scenario to be even feasible. Further, the EIA informed Newsweek that the current supply on hand doesn’t account for what’s in refineries or being imported.
While it’s never a good idea to say never, OPIS founder Tom Kloza saying the supply is running out is “a little bit like crying fire in a crowded theater.”
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