It seems only days ago that Hurricane Katrina delivered a devastating blow to America. From this massive storm, over 1,000 persons lost their lives, over one million people were displaced, and the damage figure has topped $200 billion.
Even before this catastrophic storm slammed into Louisiana, it smashed through “Energy Alley,” a concentrated area of oil rigs off the coast that supply about 35% of America’s domestic oil production and 20% of its natural gas. It damaged much of our nation’s oil production.
At the same time, workers rushed to shut down the offshore Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), which processes loads from tankers too large for mainland ports. The LOOP is the nation’s largest oil import terminal, handling 11% of U.S. imports. In addition, refiners shut down more than a million barrels a day of production as they braced for the impact from the monstrous storm. Those refineries were estimated to be out for at least two weeks, setting the stage for a probable gasoline shortage.
Unfortunately, we all know the rest of the story. Gasoline prices soared for the week following the hurricane and then somewhat leveled out at still an extremely high price. Americans everywhere have been drastically affected by these spiked prices. Major adjustments in life-styles have taken place in order to be able to continue to drive to work or other necessary travels. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Rita followed with very similar results.
In the wake of the storm, the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium has been a much used resource. Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles are, unfortunately, not understood by the general public but Katrina has brought to light the necessity of moving forward quickly with the development and implementation of such vehicles.
It is the mission of the NAFTC to educate the nation about clean alternative vehicles. Please contact us if we can be of service.
NAFTC Executive Director