Natural gas pipelines moving gas into Florida for electric generating plants are operating at half capacity, thanks to Hurricane Katrina.
Coal can’t move by barge down the Mississippi. Both add up to potential trouble for power generators and have prompted calls for conservation.
Colleen Castille, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, says, “This is a disaster of national proportions. Everyone can do their part by conserving gas and electricity usage at home and at the office."
Gas prices are also expected to keep going up.
Jose Donaldson is filling up now before prices go even higher.
Jose says, “I’m a retired person on a fixed income, so it’s really tough.”
If you think gas prices are high now, just wait. Sen. Bill Nelson says gas prices will go well above $3.00 a gallon.
Sen. Bill Nelson, (D) Florida, says, “What we ought to do is start mixing ethanol and gasoline and we ought to demand American car manufacturers start producing the hybrid car vehicles that people are wanting.”
In the meantime, Jose Donaldson says he’ll plan to do less driving and more walking.
State officials also hope Jose and everyone else will turn up the thermostats.
State officials say the shortage of natural gas and coal means consumers should keep the thermostat up at work and at home.