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New York Announces “Strategic Gasoline Reserve” to Prevent Gas Shortages during Emergencies

New York Announces “Strategic Gasoline Reserve” to Prevent Gas Shortages during Emergencies thumbnail

A three million gallon reserve will be available to New York State.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the first state-based “Strategic Gasoline Reserve,” a three million gallon gasoline reserve that will be available to New Yorkers during emergencies such as Hurricane Sandy.

The plan is aimed at preventing a shortage of gasoline, such as the one that affected Long Islanders during the 2012 storm. The $10 million program will create a reserve to be tapped only during severe weather conditions and other emergencies, supplementing market deliveries to recovering gas stations and suppliers.

Northville Industries won a bid for the project. The company has a terminal in Port Jefferson, and storage facilities in East Setauket and Holtsville. Gasoline from the reserve will be available for shipment throughout the entire state.

In a statement, Cuomo said that the gas shortages that occurred during Hurricane Sandy were “incredibly disruptive”. New York’s gas shortage lasted much long than the shortage in New Jersey, which started rationing earlier.

The Strategic Gasoline Reserve is part of Fuel NY, an initiative to improve access to fuel during major emergencies. “Fuel NY will make our energy infrastructure stronger and better prepared than it ever was before,” Cuomo said.

The gas shortage following Hurricane Sandy and the frigid Nor’easter that hit the region shortly after led to a gas rationing system in New York. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg initiated an odd-even system in November.

Despite the rationing system, incredibly long lines for gas were still prevalent throughout the area. Many Long Islanders reported waiting for several hours before being able to fill up, and some lines in front of gas stations exceeded a mile in length.

The shortage also caused many gas stations to face lawsuits for price gouging. Some gas stations hiked up their prices between 17 and 59 percent following the storm.

10 Comments on "New York Announces “Strategic Gasoline Reserve” to Prevent Gas Shortages during Emergencies"

  1. rollin on Sun, 27th Oct 2013 1:44 pm 

    Nice effort, however plan on being without power and short on gasoline for days to a week at least.
    The big problem was trees taking down power lines and closing roads. All those have to be cleared before power can even start to be restored. Without roads the fuel can’t get to the service station, without power stations cannot pump gasoline.
    Think about 3 million generators using 2 to 6 gallons a day. How long would that extra fuel last? Also the repair vehicles were using lots of extra fuel as well as the tree clearing vehicles and saws.
    With refineries unable to pump fuel, we need much larger reserves in emergencies.

  2. CAM on Sun, 27th Oct 2013 2:14 pm 

    Yes, with 8 million people living on Long Island, 3 million gallons won’t make much of a dent!

  3. Kenz300 on Sun, 27th Oct 2013 2:43 pm 

    Local biofuel production in a community provides local jobs and a local fuel source.

    Decentralized power sources like wind and solar can provide emergency back up power.

  4. Ghung on Sun, 27th Oct 2013 3:57 pm 

    Since gasoline has a limited storage life, will they be constantly rotating these reserves? What about diesel, which most emergency vehicles require?

  5. rockman on Sun, 27th Oct 2013 5:11 pm 

    I give the gov some credit for being proactive. But he might want to research actual efforts in Texas during such emergencies. As pointed out above having a tank farm loaded with fuel doesn’t solve the main problem. Last hurricane in Houston I watched hundreds of cars waiting in lines at stations just a few miles from one of the largest refineries in the western hemisphere. No e-…no fill up. Texas thinks it has a plan that will help during the next emergency: mobile fueling stations run by the state guard utilizing theirs and private tanker fleets.

  6. dolanbaker on Sun, 27th Oct 2013 7:48 pm 

    Mandating that fuel stations have standby generators available and filling the storage tanks in advance of a storm would solve most (short term) problems.

  7. rollin on Sun, 27th Oct 2013 8:32 pm 

    The military brought in 20 million gallons of fuel to region stricken by Sandy. Many stations were already low on fuel when the storm struck due to a run on fuel and supplies during the preceding days.

  8. Kenz300 on Mon, 28th Oct 2013 12:18 am 

    Get a bicycle……..

    They are good transportation and you will be healthier…

  9. BillT on Mon, 28th Oct 2013 12:57 am 

    “… the population of New York in 2013 is estimated to be 19,570,261 …”

    Or: 3,000,000 gallons for 6,000,000+ cars…

    Or: 1/2 gallon max per car. Won’t even get you to WalMart.

  10. MrEnergyCzar on Mon, 28th Oct 2013 2:10 am 

    People were paying $150 per 5 gallon can of gas for meetups on Craigslist during Sandy….
    People drove down from upstate NY to make the once in a lifetime deals…


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