SAN ANTONIO – Despite ideas to restrict the purchase of gas based on zip code, dollar amount or license plate numbers, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said local municipalities do not have the authority to impose such restrictions.
Instead, Nirenberg said that authority lies with the state. Nirenberg said he has urged local retailers to enforce their own restrictions on gas purchases.
"We've asked the state regulatory authorities to provide more frequent updates for the San Antonio public, are in consistent communication with refineries, our city's market is being prioritized and gas is being delivered daily and in greater quantities than usual," Nirenberg said in a Facebook post. "But, demand has not decreased, with our city consuming more fuel than average largely due to panic and hoarding."
Last week, 10 times the normal amount of drivers rushed to the pumps, release from San Antonio's Emergency Operations Center said.
The rush caused the demand-to-supply ratio to become imbalanced.
"When consumers began to ‘panic buy’ fuel, this created an additional strain on the delivery of fuel to gas stations," the release said. "Additionally, due to this increased demand, fuel trucks experienced more than double the normal time required to resupply gas stations. The panic buying created a huge inefficiency that will benefit greatly from drivers returning to normal buying habits.”
Since Thursday, gas lines have affected traffic, wait times and Labor Day plans for many.
Various images of individuals using unapproved containers to pour gasoline into have circulated on social media.
Some gas stations have imposed sanctions in response to incidents of hoarding, however, some have not.
The gas panic has caused many gas stations to temporarily run out of fuel. Many have used Gas Buddy's Gas Tracker app to find stations with fuel, but since the app was rolled out, many have noted that the app can be inaccurate at times.
The app relies on data supplied by users and may not always have the most up-to-date information for gas stations, or accurate information.