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Atlanta, GA Weather from Weather Underground

Saturday, September 24, 2005

CBS 46 Atlanta - Perdue tells schools to close, save gas

CBS 46 Atlanta - Perdue tells schools to close, save gasPerdue tells schools to close, save gas
Sep 23, 2005, 06:01 PM

ATLANTA (AP) -- Governor Perdue asked the state's schools to take two "early snow days" and cancel classes Monday and Tuesday to help conserve gasoline as Hurricane Rita threatens the nation's fuel supply line.

If all of Georgia's schools close, the governor estimated about 250-thousand gallons of diesel fuel would be saved each day by keeping buses off the road.

The governor also said an undetermined amount of regular gasoline also would be saved by allowing teachers, other school staff members and some parents to stay home those days. Electricity also would be conserved by keeping the schools closed.

It's up to each school superintendent to decide whether to call off classes.

Perdue said -- quote -- "If Georgians stick together, work together and conserve together we can weather whatever problems Rita brings our way with the least possible inconvenience."

As he did in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Perdue asked the state's residents to limit nonessential travel and look for commute alternatives including telecommuting, car pooling and four-day work weeks.

He said if people reduce demand, -- quote -- "we will have enough market power to hold prices down. All together, we can influence demand within our state."

Tim Callahan, spokesman for the 61-thousand-member Professional Association of Georgia Educators, said he worried Perdue's announcement would only prompt panic-buying at the pumps in the days ahead.

Callahan said -- quote -- "I wonder if it's going to create the type of panic that we saw a few weeks back that drove prices over three dollars." Callahan was referring to the long gas lines and record-high prices that came in the days following Hurricane Katrina.

When gas prices jumped back after Hurricane Katrina, Perdue suspended the state's gas tax -- about 15 cents per gallon -- and the state's Legislature quickly approved the measure in a special session.

While several other states had considered taking similar action, Georgia was the only state to suspend its gas tax. The state's monthlong gas-tax holiday expires September 30th.

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