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    U.S. Still Suffering from Gas Shortages

    Hurricane Ike's wrath realized at pumps across the nation.

    NEW YORK -- With an estimated 20 percent of the nation’s refinery capacity on hold due to Hurricane Ike, retailers located in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions not affiliated with major gas bands are experiencing gas shortages.

    A number of c-store chains with unbranded fuel, including Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc., are refusing to pay inflated wholesale prices that are in some cases $1 higher than those charged to branded affiliates, reported USA Today. "It’s an unfounded price point [oil companies] were putting on it," executive vice president of marketing, Louie Sheetz, told the paper. "They said, ‘How bad do you want it?’ I said, ‘Not that bad.’"

    Michael Fields, head of the South Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association, told USA Today while premium gasoline is especially scarce, most stations are having trouble supplying regular gas.

    Nearly half of Mapco’s 500 stations in the Southeast had no gasoline after Ike hit, company spokeswoman, Paula Lovell, told the paper. She noted slight supply increases were realized on Wednesday.

    In Virginia, roughly 15 percent of stations are without gas, Mike O’Connor, head of the state Petroleum, Convenience and Grocery Association, told USA Today. "People are going to Maryland, Pennsylvania and all the border states to pick up product," O’Connor told the paper.

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