Congress should realize we have two diseases crippling America today. While the financial crisis is like asthma or tuberculosis to the economy, a gasoline supply crisis could be terminal cancer. The government can print more money but gasoline is a hard asset. If we drain the pipelines, we won’t be able to drive; if we don’t ban driving we could run out of food within 5-6 days and face the greatest crisis in the history of the United States.—Matt Simmons
Because prices have plummeted from a high of $140 a barrel, Simmons thinks we have created the impression that the oil supply problem is solved.
We know gasoline is in short supply but we really don’t have an idea as to how widespread the shortage is, when in fact it may be hemorrhaging. We don’t have a Strategic Petroleum Reserve for finished gasoline. If Americans were to suddenly top off their tanks, gasoline supplies worsen and it takes more than 120 days to refine Middle East crude, transport it to US refineries, transfer finished gasoline via pipelines at 4 mph to markets already in short supply like Atlanta, Nashville, Richmond, Baltimore, Charlotte, and along the Northeast.—Matt Simmons