Perdue and diesel fuel.

I first want to thank Erick for the invitation to become a “front page poster” here at the Peach. As Erick mentioned, we’ve known each other for some time but he was way too kind in his comments about me. It’s no exaggeration however, to say that Erick is one of Georgia’s finest lawyers and as a Republican, I’m glad he’s on our side.

After accepting Erick’s invitation, I began thinking about what my first post should be about. Then, after Monday Night Football, WSB TV in Atlanta had a report about Walton County Schools. Apparently Walton has decided to cut back school activities due to diesel fuel shortages. The spokesman for the School system told WSB they can normally purchase fuel one day and receive it the next but now they are being told they will have to wait eight days to receive their supply. Amazingly, the football teams have not been asked to curtail their travel, but according to this story in Sunday’s Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, even varsity football schedules could be changed due to fuel shortage and price concerns:

The Georgia High School Association hasn’t devised a contingency plan yet, but may have to soon if a team isn’t able to travel to its playoff destination due to a lack of diesel fuel needed to run buses.

“Got to wait until it happens,” GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin said. “We don’t know whether it’s just going to be a shortage issue or whether it’s going to be a cost and shortage issue.”

We all know that Governor Perdue took some flack for urging schools use two snow days in order to save diesel fuel. As mentioned right here at Peach Pundit, Perdue took quite a bit of criticism from fellow Republicans on this, but I think Governor Perdue was prescient. What do you folks think?


  1. kspencer says:

    As I noted when the topic came up before, I think he did a good job of anticipating a problem, but he did a lousy job of execution. He failed there in four significant ways:

    1) Timing. He announced it on Friday after schools were closed. This is comparable (though not in degree) to a certain mayor waiting till 24 hours before the hurricane hits to declare a mandatory evacuation.

    2) Clarity. Go read the press release at the time and you’ll see that of the eight bullet points only one mentions diesel – and it also mentions heating and cooling energy. In contrast the introduction and the majority of the remaining points discuss gasoline directly or by implication. (Carpooling to save fuel is an example of the latter.) This lack of clarity reinforced the third problem:

    3) Message conflict. There was (so the governor claimed) an immediate need to conserve fuel, but all the sports activities of all schools went on uninterrupted, and the tractors were out mowing the highway edges. The impression was that some things are more important than others, and to this governor schools fell into “others”.

    4) Finally, in the end the school closings were a bandage on a broken bone – a superficial feel-good action that did nothing toward resolving the underlying problem.

    Personally, I have no doubt serious studies of things to be done to conserve fuel by and within the state have been done several times. I strongly suspect that what’s needed is to go ahead and implement some of the recommendations, even though it’s likely that they will cost up front – cost time, money, and probably disruption. But I suspect equally it’s a classic case of pay it now or pay it (more) later.

  2. Warrior says:

    I think he made the right call and was limited in what he could say without causing a panic that was self-fulfilling. People want leaders even if they stumble sometimes. See Mayor Bloomberg today and the “hoax” subway bombing intelligence.

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