Gas lines remind of past

Published 12:34 am Saturday, September 13, 2008

For a little while on Friday it seemed as though history had repeated itself from the mid-1970s when gasoline proved in short supply and prices of fuel began to climb.

Anyone older than 40 likely will remember those days.

Now, another generation is faced with the stark reality of how much we depend on our fuel and our vehicles.

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Friday’s shortage of gasoline here in Selma is temporary.

It’s the result of people realizing that Hurricane Ike will close down refineries in Texas and likely no gasoline trucks will come in to fill up underground tanks at convenience stores and service stations until after the damage is done and accounted for.

But it’s frightening nonetheless.

It’s frightening because here, esepcially here in the agrarian South, we depend so much on our vehicles. We have lived so far apart and depended on personal vehicles that many of us haven’t learned to commute or developed walking and bicycling as other, closer communities have.

But more and more cities have begun looking at some kind of public transportation, even on a limited scale. We must begin to think of alternatives to hopping up, grabbing the keys and getting in our vehicles to run around town.

While Friday’s gas shortage was temporary, it’s possible in the near future that we’ll face long-term limited supplies of gasoline.

If we don’t prepare, then will we sit for hours in long lines and hope there’s some gas left for our vehicles?

And what price are we willing to pay for the luxury of driving around where and when we want?