The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Gasoline Situation in Phoenix Slowly Returning to Normal

August 25, 2003

The lines are gone, but the prices remain higher than usual for Phoenix-area drivers as gasoline is once again flowing through a crucial pipeline. In the last two weeks, the city and surrounding Maricopa County have experienced a gasoline shortage that led to blocks-long lines at the gas pumps, prices as high as $4 a gallon and gas stations closed for lack of product. Trucked-in fuel, temporarily relaxed federal restrictions, and less panic-buying have eased motorists’ plight, and by Sunday evening, a bypass constructed on the ruptured east pipeline had begun diverting 35,000 barrels of gas intended for Tucson to Phoenix. The crisis was touched off by a corrosion-caused break in the Kinder Morgan Energy Partners pipeline that brings gasoline from El Paso, Texas. The pipeline, which supplies two-thirds of the area’s gasoline, was shut down August 8 for safety concerns. Officials believe the line will reach full capacity within days. Public and state officials have called for anti-price gouging laws and investigations of the pipeline failure and the lack of contingency plans.
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