Posts Tagged With: gasoline
The clock is ticking on the next big earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, and experts fear it will be a monster
Following the deadly magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, Oregon legislators commissioned a study of the impact a similar quake could have on the state, according to the Associated Press.
The report, “Oregon Resilience Plan: Reducing Risk and Improving Recovery for the Next Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami,” was presented to legislators Thursday (March 14).
Within its pages is a chilling picture of death and destruction that would cripple the entire Pacific Northwest, from Northern California to British Columbia.
More than 10,000 people led. Bridges, dams, roadways and buildings — including Oregon’s State Capitol in Eugene — in a state of utter collapse. No water, electricity, natural gas, heat, telephokilne service or gasoline — in some cases, for months. Economic losses in excess of $30 billion.
The seismically active region has felt temblors before, most notably a massive earthquake and tsunami in January 1700 that wiped out entire forests in what is now Oregon and Washington and caused a deadly tsunami in Japan, thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. [Waves of Destruction: History’s Biggest Tsunamis]
“This earthquake will hit us again,” Kent Yu, chair of the commission that developed the report, told Oregon legislators, according to the Daily Mail. “It’s just a matter of how soon.”
That titanic 1700 shaker was a megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia Fault, a seismic zone that stretches for almost 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) just off the Pacific Northwest coast. Based on current understanding of the fault’s seismic history, scientists estimate quakes occur along the line roughly every 240 years.
In other words, another big Cascadia Fault earthquake is “long overdue,” the International Science Times reports.
The report also noted that, geologically speaking, Japan and Oregon are mirror images of each other. There is, however, one important difference: Japan is much more prepared for earthquakes.
And Oregon is hardly the only region of North America overdue for a large earthquake: The Lake Tahoe region on the California-Nevada border is home to the West Tahoe Fault, which generally sees a quake every 3,000 to 4,000 years, and the most recent temblor occurred 4,500 years ago.
Elsewhere in California, the southern San Andreas Fault last produced a big temblor in 1690, and has been relatively quiet ever since. That isn’t good news, since a major earthquake usually occurs there every 180 years, according to recent research, and the fault line now has more than 300 years of pressure built up.
Whereas the West Coast is usually considered the most seismically active region of North America, the East Coast also has earthquakes, just not as often. Fault lines have recently been discovered near New York City, and the Indian Point nuclear power plant, about 24 miles (39 km) north of the city, straddles the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones.
In virtually all of these regions, preparation for earthquakes has been woefully inadequate, say many experts. Maree Wacker, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Oregon, laments the state of readiness: “Oregonians as individuals are underprepared,” Wacker told the Daily Mail.
The Obama administration, citing environmental concerns, has banned drilling on half of the vast National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in a move decried even by Alaska’s congressional delegation.
“The price of gasoline, which was $1.84 a gallon the day President Obama took office, has more than doubled since, willfully aided and abetted by an administration that claims we can’t drill our way to energy independence as we ignore vast reserves of North American energy that dwarf OPEC’s and we sit on 100 years’ supply of petroleum,” Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) stated in an editorial.
The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA), not to be confused with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to the east, is a 23.5-million-acre, Indiana-sized tract on Alaska’s North Slope. It was established by President Harding in 1923 to ensure oil supplies for the U.S. Navy.
The desolate NPRA has been described as the largest tract of undisturbed public land in the United States and includes a point 120 miles from the nearest village or usable road.
In 1976, the reserve was transferred to the Interior Department and Congress designated it as a strategic oil and natural gas stockpile to meet the “energy needs of the nation.”
But in August, Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that new drilling would be allowed on half of the reserve while the other half will be off-limits to oil and gas exploration.
Soaring gas prices across California have forced some station owners to shut off their pumps while people change their driving habits or, in some cases, avoid driving all together.
A gallon of regular gas was $5.69 Thursday in Calabasas, while a gallon of super costs $5.89 with cash and $5.99 with credit. Such prices are causing pain at the pump for many drivers who might see an 11-cent increase by later this morning, which means some could be paying more than $6 a gallon.
The high price of gas is simply not worth it for some mostly independent gas station owners who’d rather stop selling gas and ride out the prices that cut too deeply into their profit margins.
Low-P station owner Tanya Barkhordar hopes the customers don’t blame her for the price hike.
“This is what I love,” said Barkhordar, who’s open for business after closing for a day because she couldn’t get gasoline from a refinery. “We’re sorry it’s not our fault. We have no choice.”
Recent refinery fires in the state and pipeline problems are the culprits behind the high prices that are causing California reserves to hit a 10-year low.
The national average is up to $3.78 per gallon, but prices are topping $4 a gallon in many states. In Washington State, residents are faced with an average price of $4.03. In the Northeast, those living in New York and Connecticut are paying an average of $4.10.
No one is feeling it worse than those in California, where gas is up 45 cents from a year ago.
“This is the worst it’s ever been,” station-owner Barkhordar said. “These are the highest gas prices we’ve ever had.”
Analysts predict that relief is in sight and prices will bottom out near $3.50 a gallon by Thanksgiving, which is one of the busiest times for traveling.
“It’s a really terrible week for gas prices and the worst week we have ever had in October that I can remember,” Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California said.
ABC News affiliate KABC-TV and Survey USA conducted a poll that found 47 percent of people were driving less and 17 percent were eating out less so they can afford the expensive gasoline. For the elderly on a fixed income, it’s a dire situation.
“We only go out when we have to,” Marilyn Sklar told KABC. “We only use the gas when we have to go and do our errands and that’s it. It’s a terrible situation when you’re on a fixed income.”
Those looking for the cheapest gas in their respective areas should check with a website called GasBuddy.com.