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The Tennessee Oil Marketers Association (TOMA), which represents independent petroleum marketers and convenience store operators, is assuring Tennessee consumers that there's an adequate supply of gasoline to meet the state's needs.
TOMA is aware of reports of lines at gas pumps because of fears and rumors that the nation's gasoline supply will be disrupted, causing shortages of supply and higher prices.
"Our members have been assured by their major oil company suppliers that they will be doing everything possible to ensure that supplies of fuel into Tennessee continue uninterrupted," said Marylee Booth, executive director of TOMA. "Gasoline and diesel fuel inventories are adequate to meet demand and refinery production remains strong."
Several terminals across the nation closed yesterday out of security concerns due to the terrorists attacks in New York and Washington. However, the terminals in Tennessee are open and operating. Because of the run on gasoline stations yesterday, there were some spot shortages until those stations could be re-supplied today.
There have been allegations that some gasoline stations are taking advantage of this situation to increase their prices. Price gouging is against the law. TOMA and its members strongly condemn any attempt to take advantage of consumers at any time, and particularly in the face of this national tragedy, Booth said.
"TOMA has not been able to document any actual instances of price gouging in Tennessee. We believe rumor and speculation are driving these reports," Booth said. "We are confident that there will continue to be plenty of fuel available at normal prices. Rumors of shortages and price gouging caused somewhat of a panic in some areas on Tuesday, but things are getting back to normal."