February 15, 2023 | Mark Paradies

Unsung Heroes of 2005 (FLASHBACK)


This article below (Heroes of the Hurricane Season of 2005) was written in late September of 2005 after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast. I am republishing it TODAY, so people don’t forget the companies and workers that keep the lights on and the gasoline flowing through the good times and the bad.

People forget the bad times after a storm when workers struggle to keep the lights on and gasoline flowing. They forget when the oil companies lose a fortune after spending billions to develop oil wells, only to watch the price of oil drop like a rock. They forget the billions invested in a nuclear power plant for clean, dependable energy that has to compete with other sources that don’t require the same up-front investment and may be less clean or more unreliable. So, when gasoline or utility prices are up, be thankful that there is a readily available supply when you need it. The lights and heat come on when you need them. And the gas station has full tanks when your car gets near empty.

REPRINT: Heroes of the Hurricane Season 2005

September 2005

I have heard several network “talking heads” complaining about the price of oil and oil companies’ “obscene profits.”

Yet I think some of the most unsung heroes of the past two weeks have been the oil company employees who have reported to work and kept the gasoline flowing.

Many people complained about the temporary spike in the price of gas. Nobody likes gas at $3, $4, or even $5 a gallon. And some service station operators did take advantage of the panic buying to make a quick buck.

But the problem could have been much worse without some heroic efforts by oil company employees to get oil terminals running to get crude oil to refineries, to get refineries started up again and running at full capacity, to get pipelines running (for crude and gas), and to do this safely. And some of them did this while ignoring the damage to their homes, while their loved ones were evacuated to distant shelters or went to live with far-flung relatives.

Perhaps people take vital services like gasoline, electricity, water, and other services for granted until they are disrupted. We forget the everyday heroes who make our complex economy work.

I want to THANK all those back at work in the affected area for trying to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.

Human Performance
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