The sky hasn't fell in just yet . I don't see anything wrong with asking people to conserve. That was his first request.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Ed Rendell on Thursday urged Pennsylvanians to conserve gasoline and said he is considering more drastic steps if gas prices continue to rise, including rationing fuel or suspending the state's 31-cent-per-gallon fuel tax.
While stressing that such actions are not inevitable, Rendell said his administration is closely monitoring soaring gasoline prices, which exceed $3-per-gallon in parts of Pennsylvania, and spot shortages of fuel that have occurred elsewhere.
To temporarily lift the state gas tax, the governor said he would have to call the Legislature into special session and obtain its approval. He noted, however, that such a move could seriously disrupt funding for highway and bridge work across the state.
"I'm looking at whether we could do that for a short period of time and somewhat mitigate the cost to our highway construction and maintenance program," he said.
If gasoline supplies are disrupted and shortages occur, the state could require fuel rationing, he said.
Rendell said he could declare a fuel emergency - and take over authority to prosecute fuel sellers for price gouging from state Attorney General Tom Corbett - if he becomes convinced that gas prices in Pennsylvania are "beyond what market conditions dictate." He said he did not yet know what that threshold would be.
©Beaver County Times Allegheny Times 2005