Legislation I’ve introduced in Olympia will keep gas stations open during emergencies. This is a proactive bill, not reactive and just “one more regulation,” as your editorial (Feb. 14) suggests.
My bill serves long-term emergency planning goals to ensure public order and mobility when we are hit by a natural disaster, or even worse, a terrorist attack. We won’t have two days’ notice from the weather service when an earthquake hits to fill up our tanks. And we can’t safely ask everyone to prepare for a two-week gas shortage by storing gallons of fuel at their homes or in their cars.
I serve on the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee, where it’s my job to address problems like the one we experienced in December. Whether we like it or not, we are dependent on gasoline and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
We can’t blindly hope that fuel will be available next time. As we saw, fights developed in long lines and people were forced to leave their cars by the side of the road. This will only intensify during more severe disasters.
I myself don’t like mandates. As your editorial suggests, through several other mandates you’d like to see, requiring businesses to serve the public interest is sometimes necessary, as long as it is reasonable.
While I hope it never happens, we need to be prepared for a Katrina-sized disaster. When one happens, I know families will be gratified to be able to keep their home generators running and their cars ready to take them to safety.
Rep. Roger Goodman
State Representative, 45th District
Serving Carnation, Duvall, Woodinville, and parts of Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish and the Upper Snoqualmie Valley