I wasn’t even aware of the diesel shortage until I was alarmed by back-up White House paid liar John Kirby—he’s the competent one— was asked about it and he huminahumina-ed “I’ll have to get back to you on that.” This means, “Hey! That’s am embarrassing question; you’re supposed to be covering for us here, not causing trouble!” Then Tucker Carlson took up the topic as his scare of the day, but since I don’t trust him, I didn’t listen to it. Yes, I should have posted on the issue then: like so many of the current government fiascos, this one is about, most prominently, competence. The perils of running out of diesel fuel implicates at least four Cabinet Departments: Energy, Commerce, Transportation and Homeland Security. It is a big topic, and fortunately, a conscientious commenter, Sarah B., has done the research and analysis that I should have done.
Here is Sarah’s essential Comment of the Day regarding the diesel fuel problem, from the most recent Ethics Alarms open forum.
I think we should talk about a topic near and dear to my heart: the looming crisis caused by the diesel shortage in our nation. I will say right out that I do not have a solution to this crisis, but instead, I want to discuss how we got here, and the issues that stand in the way of fixing it. Getting here was an ethical failure on many levels, most of which can be laid without much hesitation at the feet of our current President and his party, but not to the exclusion of Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc. I know this is long, but I’d love to start communication on this issue.
The first thing to know about the diesel shortage is that it isn’t just diesel. In refining terms, the shortage is of all distillates. Light and medium distillates include kerosene, heating oil, jet fuel, aviation fuel, and diesel. Each of these are competing products from similar oil breakdowns, so a shortage of one results in a shortage of all. Many of these products seem as though they are the same thing with different names, and to an extent they are. But the government regulates and licenses each one slightly differently with slightly different specifications on each product, so aviation fuel and jet fuel can both run an airplane, but depending on the airplane, one is legal, the other isn’t. The point, however, is that the diesel shortage extends beyond what we typically recognize as diesel usage.
What is the extent of this problem? Some sites note that we have a 25.9-day supply of diesel, which is the lowest point we’ve been, comparatively, in a very long time. Generally speaking we tend to want to run at about 35-40 days. More specifically, the diesel supply is at the lowest point this nation has ever seen coming into winter. Some pundits argue that we are fine, that we’ve seen years with similar shortages, but they are being either ignorant or disingenuous. The shortages they cite occurred in April of their respective years, such as 1925. April shortages are a different beast than October and November shortages. April is at the far end of the cold season; October is at the very beginning. April is at the tail end of most major southern refinery turnaround season, whereas October is just entering into turnaround season. In other words, a shortage in October is like have a food shortage right after harvest and going into the lean months, whereas a shortage in April is expected because we’ve just emerged from the lean months, but we expect new crops soon. And if the shortage is bad now, how bad will it be by April?