Gov. Bush warns Hurricane Rita could set off gas crisis in Florida
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  Gov. Bush warns Hurricane Rita could set off gas crisis in Florida

Florida Sun-Sentinel | September 22, 2005
By Jason Garcia

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Jeb Bush urged Floridians to conserve fuel Thursday morning, as the monstrous Hurricane Rita bears down on the Texas Gulf Coast -- and the heart of the nation's oil industry.

"We, in all likelihood, are going to have significant shortages of gasoline, and I would urge people to recognize this -- not to hoard, not top off every tank that they have," Bush told reporters in the state Capitol. "We have a plan in place that we're dealing with to bring supply back to our state."

Less than four weeks ago, Hurricane Katrina sparked gas panics across Florida after it crippled oil rigs and flooded refineries on the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.

Prices rose more than 40 cents almost overnight. Cars backed 20 deep at a number of Central Florida stations. Some ran out altogether.

Rita could do even worse.

"The storm is heading towards an even larger part of our refining capacity than New Orleans or Mississippi," Bush said.

"People need to recognize that this is a national problem. This is not a state problem" Bush said. "We all need to play our part."

Meanwhile, Bush said that among the 1.3 million evacuees are his parents -- Houston resident and former President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara.

"They're in Washington," Gov. Bush said. "Their house is all boarded up."

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