THIS WEEK'S Me Generation Leadership Award has to go to former Secretary of the Navy J. William Middendorf, who, as most ordinary citizens of this area know by now, had a 4,000-gallon gasoline tank buried in the front yard of his McLean estate. "I find myself in a situation where I have to get places," he explained. "I'm in constant demand from a business, social and political point of view." What better eligibility criteria could there be for taking it off the top?
Is it possible that all people who meet these standards should be issued federal hoarding permits to buy and fill their own storage tanks, on a first-come, first-served basis? The model installed by Mr. Middendorf, which can be bought for $3,000 is large enough to supply the average car with gasoline for more than seven years - which should provide a little running room even if it doesn't last for the duration. Scores of other area residents are into tanks, too, even though gasoline distributors and federal energy officials say it's virtually impossible to find anyone willing to deliver fule to a private home.
Fortunately, there are some official moves under way to stop this silly business. They have been led by Prince Georgehs County, where there is already a complete ban on gaoline tanks at private homes. On Monday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously enacted an emergency ordinance prohibiting any more tank installations, except on farms. It will be in effect for 60 days, during which the supervisors will hold a public hearing and decide whether to adopt the ordinance permanently.
They should. So should every other jurisdiction in the region, for this is another example of the need for uniform energy policies throughout Greater Washington.