Gas prices did in fact spike to $5.00 a gallon
September 11, 2001 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Gas prices did in fact spike to $5.00 a gallon in some areas of St. Louis, Kansas City and Oklahoma. All Conoco stations that have spiked their prices will have their licenses immediately revoked. Avis still hasn't responded to their price gouging around midwest airports.
posted by geoff. (35 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
gas prices (about $1.69/gallon for regular) in southern indiana have stayed the same as they were before. but the lines to get to the gas stations are absolutely absurd
posted by mabelcolby at 4:51 PM on September 11, 2001

that article isn't kidding either, prices have indeed reached as high as $5.59 at a few stations around the kansas city metro area. the rest of the stations that are still around $1.60 have lines so long they're blocking traffic and resulting in wait times of up to an hour and a half.

my question is: why is it missouri stations that are having this insane flood of people? is it happening elsewhere in the country, too?
posted by andy g. at 4:52 PM on September 11, 2001

take the bus.
posted by slappy at 4:54 PM on September 11, 2001

it's not just missouri, in oklahoma city this afternoon, cars were lined up down the street at the stations i passed.

in the grocery store, i overheard one man saying "i wasn't going to get gas, but looking at those lines, i'd better do it now!"

apparently, if you don't actually need gas at the moment, blocking off even more traffic and contributing to the general chaos will improve the quality of your life somehow.
posted by smt at 5:08 PM on September 11, 2001

Not sure that this is the time or place, but here I go anyway.

Divorce your car. Gas can go up to $50/gallon for all I care. If you want it that bad, you'll pay and the petrol companies know this. They could do this over and over again and you'll pay every time. Car relationships are like co-dependent relationships and the only way to make things better is to get out.

I guess you can flame me now. . .
posted by BoyWithFez at 5:10 PM on September 11, 2001

I was low and filled up because if there had been traffic, I could have been that idiot that runs out of gas in the middle of a four lane highway and screws everyone else trying to get somewhere.

Traffic did crawl, and me filling up probably saved others an extra half hour.
posted by NortonDC at 5:12 PM on September 11, 2001

Nationalize the american oil industry as an emergency war act.
posted by dewelch at 5:21 PM on September 11, 2001

geoff.: Part of your link subject said that Conoco gougers' licenses would be revoked- didn't find evidence of that in the story linked. Is there some other source you got this from, or was that story updated and that detail eliminated? Certainly, price gougers who capitalize on this ought to be reprimanded severely...
posted by hincandenza at 5:23 PM on September 11, 2001

Many of us warned about $5 for a gallon of gas when we campaigned against George W Bush.

We warned about cities burning and the economy dying too.

This has happened ALREADY, geez....
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 5:23 PM on September 11, 2001

there are long lines here in NM, too. i heard about fistfights. gas went up 20 cents in half an hour, or some shit. freaking price gouging.
posted by sugarfish at 5:32 PM on September 11, 2001

hincandenza, the report of Conoco revoking licenses has only been reported on TV, local news sites haven't updated their web sites. Sorry about the confusion.
posted by geoff. at 5:37 PM on September 11, 2001

I made it home today with "bingo" fuel -- in other words, just enough to make it home. Even as I type this, the last fumes are evaporating from the tank.

I don't really understand this knee-jerk reaction (gotta buy gas, gotta stock up on toilet paper) that people have when the crap hits the fan. So much for the "calm, cool and collected" myth -- people are definetly wigging out.
posted by Kikkoman at 5:39 PM on September 11, 2001

So is this a case of scared people feeling threatened in the heartland? Or are there other places where gas is also spiking? I think I'll take the T to work tomorrow....
posted by Johannahh at 5:43 PM on September 11, 2001

This may be because a lot of planes were diverted to KCI (and I'm sure St. Louis). Those people would need to rent cars that use gas. These cities aren't big tourist or convention areas so any influx of people in a short time would be felt at the pumps. Plus, everyone in the midwest drives (no I'm not exagerating) and they all drive the proverbial SUVs. This was simply a case of money-grubbing.
posted by geoff. at 5:53 PM on September 11, 2001

Well let's see.
Toilet paper... uh oh. (shifting nervously)
posted by the biscuit man at 5:55 PM on September 11, 2001

Both gas stations near me (BP and Shell) in Columbus, Ohio were completely out of gas this evening. For some reason, people were continuing to stay in line despite continual announcements over the loud speaker that they were out of gas.

Also, in a completely unrelated story, as I was flipping through television stations, MTV has cancelled all programming and is providing a live news feed from CBS. The Food Network has also cancelled all programming and is only displaying a message saying everything was cancelled due to respect for the victim's families.
posted by aaronchristy at 6:32 PM on September 11, 2001

Dallas, Texas - when I went out for lunch/dinner ~ 5:00pm the Racetrack (the cheap place to get gas) had normal prices (1.29/1.39/1.49) for the various grades and they were a bit busier than usual. No lines out of the parking lot, though. The Mobil next to it had jacked prices up 20 cents and their lot was empty.
'Spose that'll teach 'em to gouge.
posted by Nauip at 6:49 PM on September 11, 2001

Nationalize the american oil industry as an emergency war act.

Quiet, W.
posted by rushmc at 7:03 PM on September 11, 2001

Prices only went up a dime in Detroit and the lines are normal. We lucked out.
posted by Davezilla at 7:03 PM on September 11, 2001

Knew I shouldn't have moved from downtown Detroit. In Warren, Royal Oak, and Sterling Heights (Detroit area towns, for you not around here) the prices are anywhere from $1.79 (most common) to three bucks. The lines are nuts.

The sad thing is that we passed TWO stations with police cars parked, lights blazing. One had an ambulance, too. There has been talk of fights and so-called "vigilante justice" in Dearborn, which has a high concentration of Middle-Eastern inhabitants. I was listening to the radio (can't remember the station) telling people tostay away, because race relations are on the brink tonight in some areas.
posted by Windigo at 7:41 PM on September 11, 2001

I live in West Tulsa, and I witnessed people cussing, fighting, and arguing lined all the way up in the street to get gas today, and so far, there's been no hiked up prices here on the WestSide. I wonder if those people all feel like the idiots they were now?
posted by Katy Action at 7:50 PM on September 11, 2001

Windigo, I work in dearborn (and was evacuated)... didn't see any unrest around 1PM, those reports were a bit premature, unless this is more recent-- I've been watching mainly CNN and BBC. (although I'm not looking forward to work tomorrow).

I just went out(northeast suburbs of Detroit), 3 gas stations closed (1 w/ nothing but police cars-- corner of I-94 & 9 mile Rd) in 2 miles. Highest price posted was 1.99
posted by tj at 8:03 PM on September 11, 2001

whoops.. southeast 'burbs, I'm a bit turned around tonight.
posted by tj at 8:05 PM on September 11, 2001

hey boywithfez, where do YOU live? because it is virtually impossible, even with the bus system, to get around in dallas without a car. public transportation here sucks ass and since it's so hot and everything is so spread out, bicycling isn't really feasible either. sidewalks are few and far between and the motorists are insane.
posted by centrs at 8:13 PM on September 11, 2001


I live in southern Indiana. It can be hot here. It can rain heavily here. It can also be damned cold here. I cycle everywhere I need to go. By taking appropriate measures, I can arrive comfortably anywhere I need to be within half an hour or so. Longer trips are made on occasion. I choose to live near my place of employment and my school. I choose to live in a neighborhood that is structured so that I do not have to drive miles to the nearest strip mall in order to purchase provisions. With a little forethought, it is remarkably easy to live a complete and satisfying life without the benefit of a car.

I wouldn't recommend riding on the sidewalk as this restricts your rights to those of a pedestrian. Ride sensibly, on the right side of the street, and follow traffic regulations and you will have few, if any, problems. Before I lived here, I was car-free for two years in Chicago and I can attest that it can be done in a large city as well as a smaller community.

Few consider, and even fewer question, this supposed necessity of owning and driving a car. Public transporation where I live now runs five days a week with a limited schedule on Saturdays. The service is infrequent during the week and worse on Saturday, but again, it only takes a little forethought and planning on those occasions that I ride it.

I honestly don't expect to convince you to give up your car, but I do want to let people know that it can be done. There are several great books available, the best of which is called Divorce Your Car. Generally available at public libraries, it provides great advice for quitting cold turkey or going car-lite. It profiles strategies employed by people living in remote areas as well as (sub)urban environments.
Also, World Car-Free Day is September 21st. Sort of like the Great American Smoke Out, try life without a car for one day and see how it goes . . .
posted by BoyWithFez at 8:41 PM on September 11, 2001

I'm in Bloomington, IN right now. Prices here range anywhere from $1.65 (which is what I paid) to $1.89 (jacked up today) for regular unleaded. I had a quarter of a tank, and I probably could have gone another couple days before filling up, but I'm driving to Decatur this weekend and God only knows what they could be by then. (One tank of gas here usually lasts me about two and a half to three weeks when I don't take roadtrips) The lines here were unbelievable. Police directing traffic and everything. I went to a station that was in a slightly less populated area and the line there wasn't any longer than what I wait in at the cheap gas station at I-465 and Rt. 37. My boyfriend lives in downstate IL, and gas there is $2.75 a gallon.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:28 PM on September 11, 2001

I live in West Tulsa, and I witnessed people cussing, fighting, and arguing lined all the way up in the street to get gas today, and so far, there's been no hiked up prices here on the WestSide. I wonder if those people all feel like the idiots they were now?

I live west of Tulsa myself, and saw lines at every gas station I passed on the way home from work. I also heard reports of fights breaking out at the pumps. I am due for a fillup within the next day or so, but I wasn't about to go through the trouble.

My wife went back into town to run some errands tonight, and she reported that the gas lines were now non-existent. She filled up with no problem and no waiting.

Yes, I think they will feel very stupid tomorrow morning.
posted by Dirjy at 10:53 PM on September 11, 2001


I initially heard reports on 96.3 around 10-ish or so about a couple of vague racial related events. Later - 1 a.m. I would guess - I remember one girl in particular calling in to comment on the hostility she has been faced with as of todays events (she is Arabic), and even worse, that a friend was beaten up by a small group of people earlier in the day.

Horrid, horrid. I know that people tend to look for a scapegoat, any scapegoat, to try to remove a sense of helplessness...but man. This isn't cool, this is playing into the type of fear whomever carried out this event was aiming for.

It was also mentioned that a gas station in Warren around 12 mile was selling gas for 5 bucks a gallon, until a news crew took notice. Suddenly the shop closed down for business early.

posted by Windigo at 11:36 PM on September 11, 2001

The reason the prices are so high is that demand skyrocketed. If I owned a gas station and there were people lined up down the block to buy my gas, I would raise the price, as well. There's no reason to assume there's going to be a gas shortage. And if there is, what's filling up your 2/3 full tank going to help anyway? One more day of driving? These people aren't being taken advantage of. If they just went home and waited a couple of hours(!), they wouldn't have to pay $5/gallon.
posted by daveadams at 7:48 AM on September 12, 2001

Exactly. High prices are a signal not to buy, or at least to conserve. $5 a gallon gas means "we see some of you silly people are making a run on our station, but we want to keep some of our gas until the next delivery shows up."
posted by kindall at 7:52 AM on September 12, 2001

Regading AVIS, I sent a message to one of those listed on their site for press queries, regarding price gouging:

Q: There are rumors that Avis increased its rental rates (by 100% or more) as soon as the NYC tragedy took place on 11-September. Is this true?

Here is the response from Mr. Fuller at Avis:

"At 9 a.m. yesterday Avis froze its prices at all U.S. locations and waived drop-off fees for one way rentals to help peple who needed to drive one-way to a destination because airports were closed."

If this is a case (and unless someone has specific info to the contrary), I think this was a nice move by Avis. Most of these posts are about gas stations anyway, so perhaps Avis was slammed unfairly...
posted by troybob at 9:49 AM on September 12, 2001

most of the price gouging that went on here in the Tulsa area seems to be North Tulsa and Catoosa. those stations are being investigated for —ta da!— price gouging.

i hung out at a neighborhood video store and watched as people panicked and lined up to buy gasoline. i also watched the parking lot of the supermarket fill up with people desparate to buy catfood and depends (i guess Purina could be a major target of attack).

it was funny. a couple hours later, on the way home, i filled up easily and quickly, at a penny less per gallon than it had been on Monday evening.
posted by tolkhan at 11:47 AM on September 12, 2001

haven't been paying attention to local news so much, but (ant this is third-hand) a friend of a coworker is a Detoit cop, and they were getting called into fairlane apparently last night. The good news is that things seem to be pretty much calm in Dearborn right now.
posted by tj at 11:49 AM on September 12, 2001

$5 for a gallon of gas? Haha, now you're paying UK prices. Welcome to the club.
posted by wackybrit at 1:02 PM on September 12, 2001

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