'Evening News:' High Gas Prices Leaving Little Girls 'High and Dry'

     High gas prices are not only responsible for strained wallets, according to CBS, they are preventing little girls from going swimming this summer.

     “When we arrived in Louisville [Ky.], we headed straight for the Breslin Park pool,” CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes said on May 15. “Half the city’s public pools will be padlocked this summer leaving these little girls high and dry.”

     Cordes’s “CBS Evening News” story was a part of its “Eye on the Road” series – an effort to show how people are affected by gas prices throughout the country. For the series two reporters have been driving across the country in opposite directions, one in a Toyota Prius and the other in a Ford Fusion.

     Despite the city of Louisville’s 6-percent sales tax rate, the municipal government was forced to seek budget cutbacks because of the high gas prices, hence the city’s dry pool, Cordes reported.

     “I thought it couldn’t be true until I really came here and actually saw it, that it was – that it didn’t have any water,” said seven-year-old Lydia Kinloch.

      Cordes interviewed the mayor of Louisville, Jerry Abramson, a Democrat, whose solution to the fuel costs is to buy hybrid vehicles.

      “Not only have we parked some [nonessential city vehicles], we are now downsizing them all, Abramson said. “We used to buy Escapes; we’re buying a Focus. Notice they're all Ford products. We’re a Ford community.” Abramson was referring to the city’s Ford (NYSE:F) vehicle plant.

     In the report, Cordes also blamed high gas prices for Ford’s woes.

     “And that's another problem, because sales of the gas-guzzling trucks Ford produces in Louisville are down 19 percent,” Cordes said. “Unsold hundreds are gathering dust behind the plant while the employees’ lot in front gets emptier and emptier.” CBS interviewed one man who warned that the city could face job losses because of declining Ford sales. That would mean continued revenue losses for the city, Cordes pointed out.

     Cordes and Jeff Glor, the other reporter participating in the assignment, have spent time addressing the causes of higher gas prices – lower supply and higher demand – as the ripple effects higher prices can have. In the series, CBS didn’t present one obvious solution to higher prices – expanding supply by drilling in Alaska.

      Just this week, a measure to explore for oil in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge lost in the U.S. Senate on May 13. The vote, an amendment to another bill, was defeated by a vote of 42-56, largely along party lines.