US drivers urged not to fill gasoline tanks for Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

US drivers urged not to fill gasoline tanks for Y2K


U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson warned motorists on Wednesday not to completely fill their gasoline tanks due to fears about Y2K computer problems, because the rush to service stations could disrupt fuel supplies.

First they told us to fill up tanks before the rollover, next they said keep them half full. Now they are begging us to not fill up the tanks.

-- hamster (, December 22, 1999


Will anyone listen to this idiot or even hear this announcement?

NO & NO....

-- PJC (, December 22, 1999.

Oops! Sorry, hamster, please tell your friend, Mr. Richardson that I've already filled mine and have a number of gallons stored.

Does he want me to empty it all out?

hamster, if you're trying to make some logic out of what is being told to us. Don't waste your time. A second thought is, if you don't have any gasoline, you can't go anywhere, can you? You'll have to stay put. Right where they want you.

-- Richard (, December 22, 1999.

Sorry but isn't this the same bureaucrat who advised people to take their generators back last week? Now, he want us to keep our gas tanks half full? This kind of rhetoric belongs to a village idiot or "half wit". Sorry but I plan on keeping my generator full of gas and my car as well! Obviously, there were few candidates when this man was chosen Secretary of Energy!

-- Ruth Edwards (, December 22, 1999.

Evidently he never heard about the reason you don't tell kids not to put beans in their ears.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 22, 1999.

...or, he knows *exactly* what he's doing, and fully *intends* to evoke the panic he putatively wishes to avoid.

-- Ron Schwarz (, December 22, 1999.

This freak Richardson is more of a moron than Clinton and that's saying something...

No concern whatsoever for the citizens' due to his departments' bungling ineptititude...

Just gotta protect the Oil companies...

Folks - this is how the Gubbmint is handling y2k on a small scale...

Fuck the citizens - protect our own asses and those who pay for our re-election


-- Andy (, December 22, 1999.

Absolutely do not go pottie during rollover. Will overload sytems.

-- (@ .), December 22, 1999.

If anyone followed the advice of this Administration or its appointees, they would be acting like Sybil (she of the 20+ multiple personalities). I was listening to the news this morning. First, they lead with the story warning all Americans to be alert to the possibility of terrorist attacks, both here and abroad, from now until the middle of January. They followed that up with the story that Clinton was advising Americans not to overreact to the threat of terrorist attacks. Geez...what's an obedient citizen to do?

-- (, December 22, 1999.

Just in case you missed it, here's what's going on with the state of the gasoline panic of 99...

Well, here you have some rather interesting contingency plans. This caught a lot of people by surprise today. Here's the skinny, the industry pretty much knows that the irresponsible media has been telling people for months "Keep your tank full" "you might want to fill up the old tank" blah blah blah. The bank industry has been pretty vigilant about trying to avoid bank runs, but the oil industry has always been a favorite target. What this is telling you is that regardless of any Y2K problems, there probably WILL be a supply crunch. This crunch will be caused by a great number of people rushing out to fill up the tanks between X-mas and New Years. It's not that the industry can't meet normal demand, it's that we can't meet abnormal demand, and it's a fairly low threshold given the JIT constraints. Interestingly, BPA is taking a very proactive approach with their Jobbers and Dealers (folks who operate stations under the BPA name and flag). Good for them for having the stones to be proactive. This article probably won't appear in your local paper as it came from OPIS. I recommend OPIS to anyone who follows the oil industry. They are an excellent ear to the markets. For educational and research purposes only:

***BP AMOCO INSTALLS Y2K CONTINGENCY PLANS The signs that BP Amoco jobbers and dealers received this week are a bit chilling and evoke some of the worst memories of the Nixon and Carter presidential administrations. Examples: "Station Temporarily Out of Fuel"

"Pumps Are Out of Order, Store is Open"

"Station Temporarily Closed"

But there are also some new placards that illustrate the reliance that gasoline retailing now has on technology, thanks to automated sales:

"Closed Due to Technical Difficulties - We Will Reopen Soon"

"Pay at Pump Not Available - Please Pay Inside After Pumping"

"Cash Only For Fuel Sales"

BP Amoco included the signs in a special Y2K preparation package that was sent out to its wholesale and retail marketers across the country last week.

The company says that they are hopeful that because of their preparation, Y2K will be a "non-event" but they are have put together specific instructions and checklists so that retailers can cover events which range from the occasional credit card snafu to the orderly shutdown of stations in an emergency.

Although the information packages didn't reach marketers until this week, some of the outlines are surprisingly thorough. They even define what it means to be "on call" - - "in a position to report to work" and "sober" within 35 miles of a retail site, with phones, pagers and cell phones working and turned on.

A letter to marketers, BP Amoco cites customer research which indicates that 20-40% of consumers will fill their auto gas tanks in advance of January 1 due to Y2K. The company calculates that this surge could boost daily demand by 20-50% over Dec. 27-31 historical levels. Such a boost could cause some temporary supply problems, BP Amoco acknowledges.

The company also appears worried about a likely demand lull early in Year 2000. If consumers accelerate their retail gas purchases, consumer demand will slack off during the first days of January 2000, with offtake returning to normal around January 3-4.

Many of the suggestions for marketers are geared toward dealing with the problems that would come with data management outages. BP Amoco has arranged for an extra supply of paper credit card slips and urges that all marketers have the slips on hand in case processing systems aren't functioning. The company will waiver the paper ticket fee for system wide outages, but will not dismiss the charge if the problems are due to Y2K non-compliant equipment on the marketer end. Additionally, BP Amoco laid out many other features of its Y2K plan. Among the highlights:

- Marketers are urged to increase inventories of distillate, midgrade and premium well in advance of December 27. They suggest this action so that resellers can focus on unleaded regular deliveries during the peak period of December 27-31. They add that marketers should check with their financial advisors before building stocks, since high year end inventories can have unexpected tax consequences for some businesses.

- After the peak period, marketers are urged to reduce inventories to normal target ranges.

- A special gasoline inventory management system will be in place at all proprietary terminals during the Dec. 20-January 3 period. BP Amoco says it will be closely monitoring supply during the period. "Should it be necessary to allocate, we will treat all channels of trade consistently and equally based on historical levels of volume."

- Field personnel will be on call from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2 to ensure all operations are normal or to intervene in any problem. BP Amoco will have an overstaffed help desk on December 31 and January 1 to handle dealer and jobber problems.

- All BP Amoco terminals will be closed from 10 P.M. on December 31 until 2 A.M. on January 1. The terminals will return to normal weekend and holiday schedules for the remainder of the weekend.

There is no mention of any penalty for overliftings, but most marketers suspect that surcharges may be installed if the company does implement a late December allocation. BP Amoco said little about price, but they did include a sample document which provides "what to do if?" suggestions for branded locations. In the event of an unleaded regular outage, the document recommends that retailers "continue to sell other fuel grades at their posted price. (Do not reduce the price of Mid-grade or Super to RUL price.)" - Tom Kloza,

Copyright 1999, Oil Price Information Service.

-- Gordon (, December 22, 1999

-- Gordon (, December 22, 1999.

Whenever I hear these "Prepare, sort of..." pronouncements from officials, they remind me of the Firesign Theatre:

"Your food, clothing, and insecurity will be guaranteed by the Department of Redundancy Department and the Natural Guard."

-- Mac (, December 22, 1999.

I recommend filling up not later than the 28th (or 29th...). Minimize travel thereafter.

-- Mad Monk (, December 22, 1999.

I'm having my friendly Farmer's Co-op fuel truck come out later this week to fill one of my 300 gal. tanks. Does this mean I can only fill it half full? If so, which half?

I'm confused, but desparately want to be a good citizen farmer.

-- (fill', December 22, 1999.

Personally, I think it's wise to fill up everything I can.

-- cody (, December 22, 1999.

.....I'm filling twenty five-gallon cans at twenty different stations; all before Christmas day. Just been waiting to have fresh gas.

-- Patrick (, December 22, 1999.

As soon as I heard they were warning people not to fill up their tanks, I immediately went out and bought four 5 gallon gas tanks and filled them and my gas tank. I plan to refill my tank every night from here on out just to make sure.

-- wondering what (, December 22, 1999.

Have 7 5 gallon cans filled in my shed - will definitely buy more in the morning - or maybe right now - Home Depot is still open...whadda moe-ron Mr. Bill (Richardson) is...

-- Ford Prefect (bring@your.towel), December 22, 1999.

Sorry, Mr. Richardson, I can't hear you. I have beans in my ears. (and my closet, shed, basement .......)

-- (, December 23, 1999.

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