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Letter Re: A Commercial Fueling Network (CFN) Card Lock Account as a Preparedness Measure

Mr. Rawles, I have been considering sending you this note on fuel, so I’ll tag on now. I work for a very large pipeline/oil company and I am in management. My family & I have been in this business for nearly 30 years. I run diesel pickups and use a CFN [1] card as well. The real point I want to share is that when we may no longer get gasoline or diesel fuel, there are hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles around in which fuel can be “obtained” with a hose or pump [in the cited absolute worst case situation.] First, think of how many over the road trucks there are in North America. They are all run on diesel fuel. Perhaps more important, think of the number of backhoes, excavators (we call them track hoes), bulldozers, various other earthmoving and construction equipment, cement trucks, delivery vans. The list is pretty long. Farm tractors in the US– and how many you see parked on the edge of a field pulling a fuel tank. In the agriculture belt of the Midwest , this is a common sight. If you’re in oil producing states, you have work over rigs, drilling rigs, and an entire network of support vehicles, all which keep large on-site storage of diesel fuel to operate. Look at the US military and the diesel powered vehicles they use. Here’s another thought; it is difficult to siphon Gasoline out of a modern car today, due to the filler cap restrictions. Most diesel powered vehicles have a large, open filler cap.
To go along with that, most companies that are in this sort of business have bulk diesel fuel storage at their yard(s). I work at a CI/KR facility, (the DHS [2] acronym for Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources as outlined by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan [3] (NIPP) where these businesses and facilities have large backup generators utilizing diesel fuel. A bonus is that the fuel is treated for long term storage and usually filtered on discharge from the storage tank.
I think it is also important to figure out your town or city’s supply chain for fuel. A tremendous number of refineries are still located on the Gulf Coast/Mississippi River and the refined products are transported by pipeline across the U.S. to central terminals. From there, it is transported out by your local jobber to each gas station. Remember, this is still free enterprise with private companies at the steering wheel, however, under NIPP, this could all change. The shutdown of refineries starting in the late 1980s only tightens the noose, so to speak. I find in my travel around the Southwest U.S. interacting with law enforcement and private citizens, not many people really know a thing about our crude oil/refining/fuel infrastructure and all of the processes that it takes to get to the gas pump. We are, and will continue to be, in a very delicate energy balance–particularly fuel. Simply look at Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and the ice storms in early 2007. People need to be educated.

I could go on and more in-depth about our nation’s infrastructure, but I think that is a separate e-mail. The bottom line is; I think I personally will have a better chance of obtaining diesel fuel for myself, than gasoline. Most folks will be sitting in long lines at gas stations and convenience stores waiting on gasoline. Wonderful site you have! – LetterJRanch, in Texas