No Problems at the Pump Forecast For Y2K Rollover
December 23, 1999 -- As the end of the year nears, U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and American Automobile Association (AAA) officials have some calming news: expect business such as that during any long holiday weekend as the year rolls over to 2000 at the nation’s gas stations.
“There’s no need for drivers to rush out and top off their tanks right before the year ends,” Secretary Richardson said. “Companies have been preparing for extra demand and that demand could be similar to the strong surge we experience before a major travel holiday such as the Fourth of July.”
On Thursday at a service station in Washington D.C., Richardson was joined by representatives of the American Automobile Association, an organization which has actively represented the interests of motorists and other travelers for nearly 100 years, and BP Amoco.
“Our message is simple: We don’t anticipate any problems with supply. We don’t anticipate any problems with distribution,” said Steve Hayes, Managing Director of Public Relations for AAA. “We’re urging motorists not to create an artificial problem by ‘topping off’ unnecessarily.”
Raymond Brasser, a senior vice president for BP Amoco, noted that his company “has been preparing for Y2K since 1996 and has spent $300 million in the effort. We’re confident there will be few, if any, disruptions to our business, and that customers will be offered the same high level of service and supply they expect from BP Amoco.”
The Energy Department and AAA are recommending that motorists prepare for the Y2K changeover just as they would if a storm was coming: have general supplies on hand, and sufficient food and water. “But there’s no need to hoard gasoline – and don’t ever store it in your home. That’s asking for more trouble than any millennium bug might bring,” Richardson cautioned.
The Department of Energy’s involvement in industry-wide Y2K preparations started back in 1998. At that time, President Clinton asked the department to take the lead for the Administration to ensure that the nation had the energy to roll-over into 2000.
Working together -- government and industry -- the department sought to make sure things were on track for 2000. Industry trade associations measured Y2K readiness four times -- getting responses from nearly 150,000 retail gasoline outlets, the largest response of any industry surveyed for the Y2K effort. Today, they expect to be 100 percent ready.
“Nobody can say for sure that there will not be any Y2K glitches on January 1, 2000,” Secretary Richardson said. “But people should be aware that for several years, the federal government has been doing everything it possibly can, including contingency planning, to ensure that all the elements of American livelihood will be up and running on January 1, 2000.”
Cite This Page: