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Gas stations empty as driver shortage delays deliveries

Gas pump.jpg
Posted at 6:35 PM, Jun 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 10:40:43-04

CAÑON CITY, Colorado — Pump after pump at station after station in Pueblo and Canon City, yellow bags are on the handles warning drivers that there's no gas.

"It's really out of control right now, I've never seen it like this before," said Roberto Garcia of Pueblo who was filling up in Canon Friday.

He's not the only driver to feel this pain. Shane Schloss visited two stations in Pueblo and a third in Canon to see the same sight.

"They're all bagged up!" he said.

Industry experts believe the problem isn't due to a lack of gasoline. Rather, a national shortage of truck drivers has slowed deliveries to the stations.

"These are always very, very limited in scope and size," said Skyler McKinley from AAA Colorado. "It's frustrating and it can really throw a wrench in your day where you might not be able to get the gas that you need, but generally supply is moving, it's just moving more slowly than usual."

He explained that when so many Americans switched to working from home during the pandemic, gasoline consumption dropped. So, truck drivers who used to haul gas switched to other fields.

Demand for gas surged back this summer but the labor market still hasn't caught up.

"There's good reason to be upset, don't take that out on the service station, they don't want you not to have gas," McKinley said. "They'd love to have gas in their tanks. It's just this labor issue."

He also said that the wholesale market for gasoline in Southern Colorado is stable and he doesn't expect prices to climb much higher. However, it will likely take the labor market longer to correct itself.