Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pensacola 'Challenge' To Conserve - Updated

At a highly unusual group press conference late Thursday afternoon, the heads of four Pensacola governmental agencies issued a combined call for all county residents, employers, and agencies to "conserve all fuels by 10%."

They also formally "challenged" neighboring Florida towns and counties to do the same.

Pensacola City Manager Tom Bonfield, Escambia County schools superintendent Jim Paul, Escambia County administrator George Tuart, and State Representative Dave Mirzon said the action comes after speaking with Florida Governor Jeb Bush at a noon tele-conference.

County board member Bill Dickson, a spokesman for the group, emphasized that, locally, fuel availability in Pensacola "is not a crisis." He added, however, that because Northwest Florida is the closest to devastated areas of the Gulf Coast to the west, "a greater draw-down" of fuel supplies can be anticipated in the weeks ahead.

Also confirmed at the press conference was an earlier news report that a "barge with more than 1 million gallons of unleaded gasoline and 500,000 gallons of diesel" would be arriving soon at the Port of Pensacola.

Additional gasoline deliveries may be in peril, though. According to a short news note on the web site of WEAR-TV future shipments will depend on clearing of the Intecoastal waterway between Pensacola and New Orleans:
Coast guard officials are working to open up the intercoastal waterway between Pensacola and New Orleans. Until that waterway is will be nearly impossible to import adequate amounts of fuel to the panhandle.

For a freshly-released survey of how employers, schools, government agencies, and ordinary folk are learning to conserve gas, check The Clean Air Campaign

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