The UK is currently experiencing a run on fuel after a government minister warned citizens to stock up ahead of a possible strike by British fuel tanker drivers. Despite the fact that a strike is anything but certain, and must also be preceded by a week-long warning period, Britain's Petrol Retailers Association says that gasoline sales are up 81 percent and diesel 43 percent since the comments were made. The average price of fuel there today is £1.40/liter, or $8.49/gallon.

Cabinet Minister Francis Maude had originally commented that Britain's drivers should store fuel, "maybe a little bit in the garage as well in a jerrycan." Late Tuesday, Transportation Minister Mike Penning attempted to walk back that comment a bit, stating that Maude had misunderstood the size of a jerrycan (20 liters). Penning, however, still remarked the he supported the advice to keep fuel tanks topped off in case a strike date is set.

Lines to purchase fuel today are reportedly so long in places that authorities are ordering some stations to close in order to clear the road congestion. Gasoline containers are also reportedly flying off shelves.

The potential strike would involve some 2,000 drivers represented by Unite, the country's largest trade union. The union is negotiating for minimum standards that would cover things like wages, hours and holidays for drivers that deliver fuel to Shell and Esso gas stations, as well as supermarkets.

The UK government is defending the ministers' comments as taking appropriate precautions, but other organizations, like Britain's Automobile Association, are blaming the official advice for panic buying that will lead to fuel shortages ahead of a strike that may not even happen.


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  • 37 Comments
      moe6
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's a really great way to drive up sales this. We do this in Malaysia too and I'm sure it's not just out of economic necessity as it is also about pumping out last minute "nice" numbers as far as tax and such goes.
      Ultra
      • 2 Years Ago
      $8.49/gal = Bernanke's short term price target for avg gas price in the U.S.
        Walt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ultra
        Bernanke's getting lots of help meeting that target with Obama and Energy Secretary Che doing everything they can do limit oil exploration and distribution on this continent. Simply put, a vote for Obama is a vote for record high gas prices that will cripple the United State's economy.
          Frank
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Walt
          But they'll still find a way to blame Republicans and the oil companies for it...
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      donnieorama
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sweet jumpin' Jehoshaphat. And we're complaining about $4.00 fuel? Yikes.
        chirowolf
        • 2 Years Ago
        @donnieorama
        how many other things have doubled in just 4 years. I can tell you demand for gas is down. We are complaining because we are being riped off. just because someone is being ripped off more does not make me feel better
        IBx27
        • 2 Years Ago
        @donnieorama
        They've always had expensive fuel because most of it is tax, because that's the kind of place Europe is.
      slap
      • 2 Years Ago
      Interesting photo - lots of hatches, only one CUV, no pickups.....
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      - v o c t u s -
      • 2 Years Ago
      digging the fiiine creature in the lower right who says "screw this, I'm walking".... whilst pumping her adele
        IBx27
        • 2 Years Ago
        @- v o c t u s -
        The one who's got a slouchy posture, slab-sides, and short legs? You can have her.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @IBx27
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      cincy2929
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow...what a bargain it seems we have here in the states for gas. At least that is what we r supposed to think.
      That Kid
      • 2 Years Ago
      I see that austerity politics is working out splendidly for the UK. Squeezing the working classes is always a real boon to a country's stability.
      Jason
      • 2 Years Ago
      And here were crying over $4.00 a gallon. I know it's a crime (when the Oil Companies are posting RECORD Profits!) to pay that much and it pisses me off to cost $60+ to fill my tank, but as the saying goes, It can always get worst!
      SatinSheetMetal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ahh the good old dilemma. I love how everyone cries out the the government is at fault for artificially driving up demand and creating a crisis where there might not have been one, but then if they had said nothing and a strike did happen everyone would ask the government why the weren't given more notice since the information was obviously at hand. No matter what the government does they will always be at fault. Obama will be prosecuted for promoting innovation in vehicles instead of using money to explore and drill for oil instead, then when a Republican takes office and gas prices inevitably rise further people will wonder why there haven't been further advancements in electric/alternative fuel vehicle technologies. I would like to recite a saying that gets thrown around a lot in the military, "it has to get worse before it gets better." The trick then is realizing, it won't get better.
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