SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — On one of the busiest travel days of the year, drivers are seeing a slight dip in gas prices across the country, but fears over a diesel fuel shortage are climbing.
Earlier this month, a major U.S. diesel fuel supplier warned of a “shortage” and suggested that it could cause prices on a variety of consumer goods to rise.
But as one trucking company says, Americans should have nothing to worry about.
“Occasionally in the last month or so we got a few emails that say in certain parts of the country that have said truck stops have said they have diesel, but they are low like critically low,” Shelley Koch President of K & J Trucking said.
It’s what a lot of truck drivers fear every time they hear there’s a shortage of diesel fuel.
In Sioux Falls, we found one gas station that was completely out of the number one blend.
But Jeff Eschen of K & J Trucking says he doesn’t worry about it.
“For the most part, in the 20 years I’ve been driving, I’ve never run into that issue,” Eschen said.
K & J Trucking has a fleet of 140 trucks that run in all lower 48 states.
The reduced production at U.S. refineries and a ban on Russian energy imports have combined to add to those fears of a diesel shortage.
But Koch says those fears are somewhat unfounded.
“Diesel in general is starting to go down right now, so that wouldn’t tell me there’s a big shortage, the price per barrel or per gallon is starting to drop again, so I would say that thought of a shortage is starting to wane, but if refineries close we could all be in trouble,” Koch said.
According to the Energy Information Administration in the unlikely event all refineries would have to be shut down, the country would only have enough diesel fuel for 27 days.
“Well the way I look at it, if that does happen it’s all going to affect us in the long run, because we won’t be able to get our supplies to the customers at the grocery stores and everything before long nobody will be able to get groceries gas or do anything, I mean it’s kind of alarming in a way but in the long run, I just don’t see that happening,” Eschen said.
Experts say the diesel shortage is hitting the East Coast the hardest, where diesel prices remain $1.50 per gallon higher than the same time a year ago.