Friday, September 02, 2005

PSA: From Arizona State Representative Ted Downing

We can do a lot to help Hurricane Katrina victims simply by making a few temporary sacrifices.

The hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast knocked out about one third of the US crude oil supply and about 20 percent of our domestic gasoline. Here in Arizona, the damaged area accounts for around 18% of our fuel. It will take 13 days for the strategic petroleum reserve to enter market following the President’s Emergency Order. It will take longer than that to recover the lost refining capacity and re-open the port at Fourchon, Louisiana, which is used to ship a third of the US oil supplies

We can help the nation, and help our own family budgets without much sacrifice. Schedule and combine trips. Try car-pooling for a week. Ride a bus. Review the energy logistics of your business. Properly inflate your tires. Avoid stomping on the gas pedal. Consider whether that out-of-town trip is really necessary.

We know from the Tucson pipeline break that panic buying will suck our gas stations dry. Topping-off your tank seems an outright affront to the victims and first responders who need our support.

This Labor Day weekend, my wife and I decided to cancel our planned vacation and donate to a hurricane relief fund. We hope that like-minded Arizonans will dream up creative ways to reduce our energy footprint during this shortage. We have seen a lot of chaos over the past few days, but Americans are good people who are ready and eager to help in a crisis. Show them what Arizona can do.

Ted Downing (D)
State Representative, District 28


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