As lines grew at the gas pump over the last three weeks, Charlotte's mayor appealed to consumers.
Don't top off your tanks, Mayor Pat McCrory said. “We're all impacted by each other's usage.”
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He spoke daily with the U.S. Department of Energy, and relayed information to the public about gas shipments.
But some residents said they wanted stronger leadership. Resident Tommy Carlucci said he was annoyed by McCrory's approach.
“It's irritating enough that we can't find gas,” he said. “To have a politician go on TV and tell you, ‘Just relax' … I wanted to strangle him.”
Others suggested in e-mails that McCrory ration gasoline. Jennifer Roberts, chairman of the Mecklenburg County commissioners, said she didn't want to sit back and wait.
“I think we can do better,” she wrote to Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton.
By Tuesday, gas stations began to have more fuel. The Department of Energy defended McCrory in an e-mail Wednesday, saying he had been “pro-actively” working with them.
“Gas rationing is not necessary,” wrote a DOE spokesperson. “The market is returning to normal.” Julia Oliver