Rita Fools Gasoline Experts

Last week some experts were making dire predictions that the price of gasoline could jump to four or even five dollars a gallon.

But the oil refineries along the Texas coast have survived Hurricane Rita, and that means no huge spike in prices.

State officials are still asking you to conserve power whenever possible because there will be shortages over the next couple of weeks as the refineries get back in business.

Gov. Jeb Bush says there’s plenty of gasoline in Florida unless you live in the western panhandle.

“The gas supply’s in good shape. As you know, we now have a pretty regular tracking system that monitors where fuel ends up as relates to the ports and then we do survey work for gas stations in all of the markets and fuel supply’s in good shape. It’s actually higher today than it was on Friday in terms of gas supplies in the ports. The only place where we have problems relates to the western panhandle, and that has been a chronic problem since Katrina.”

Gov. Bush is trying to set an example for energy conservation by trading his giant SUV for a hybrid car and turning up the thermostat in the Capitol building.

The higher temperatures mean suit jackets are no longer required at meetings of the state Cabinet.