A diesel shortage — our next crisis du jour?
I pulled into a Walmart gas station in Locust Grove, Virginia, this weekend, and, lo and behold, there was a sign on all of the pumps informing patrons that they were out of diesel fuel. While my vehicle doesn't take diesel, it struck me as strange. The signs clearly had been up for at least a day.
After a quick browse of the internet, I learned a great deal. Time magazine and Reuters both recently reported that the oil industry, in order to produce more gasoline and jet fuel, was compelled to cut back on diesel production. This cutting back on the supply of diesel has helped accelerate the inflation of the price of this type of fuel. When the government gets involved, there are always unintended consequences.
One of my social media acquaintances works at an independent trucking company. The high fuel cost had forced them to park their fleet. His company is not alone. You would think this lack of demand from such actions might impact supply, but, apparently, that is not the case. If anything, it poses a new threat to our supply chain woes. Adding to a shortage of truck drivers, now we have many not driving at all. You can almost hear the supply chain moaning in agony as a result.
Make no mistake: this is a big deal. It's one thing for truckers to pass on their high fuel costs to consumers — it is quite another if things don't get shipped in the first place because there is no fuel. This is not just a problem for the nation's truckers. We all stand to suffer.
This is yet another crisis that our government has refused to step in front of or even provide ample warning that it is coming. I get it. With elections looming, the Biden administration can ill afford another predicament...these people are still trying to work on the last three or four. By the same token, actions should be taking place now to dodge this supply chain–targeted bullet.
The Department of Transportation should be putting contingency plans in place. Meetings should happen with oil industry executives and the Department of Energy to ensure we do not have to suffer a summer with empty store shelves. The president should be telling us this is coming and that his administration is taking action to negate it. We should be warned so we can prepare, emotionally and physically. These things should be happening, but there are no indications this is occurring.
When you know something bad is going to happen, but you do nothing to avoid it, only a few words apply. One is incompetence. The other is malice. While we would prefer to think that neither word is applicable, the recent months have shown both to be in play.
Let's hope this is just a fluke — not a true sign of things to come. In the meantime, keep a careful watch at your gas stations.
Blaine L. Pardoe, is author of Blue Dawn: The most chilling "what-if" in history...the progressive overthrow of the United States and The Democratic Party Playbook, Election 2022 Edition. Pardoe is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author who lives in Virginia. He is the author of numerous science fiction, military history, true crime, horror, and business leadership books.