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New York Rationing Gasoline After Storm Disrupts Fuel Supply

November 08, 2012

New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered gasoline rationing for New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties to reduce lines at retail gas stations after the nor’easter storm disrupted power to a terminal served by the Buckeye pipeline. New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg also issued a similar order, which will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Friday Nov. 9.

According to Cuomo’s Nov. 8 statement, the rationing plans impose odd-even rules on the purchase of gasoline for non-commercial vehicles. Cuomo stated that Westchester, Rockland, and Orange will not have to implement fuel management rules at this time.

The rationing rules state that drivers with license plates ending in an even number will be able to buy fuel only on even-numbered days of the month. Drivers with license plates ending in an odd number will be able to buy fuel on only odd-numbered days of each month. License plates without numbers are considered odd-numbered under these rules. The Governor’s office stated that out-of-state plates are subject the same rules.

NYC's Bloomberg's order does not apply to authorized emergency vehicles, buses, paratransit vehicles, commercial vehicles, vehicles with Medical Doctor license plates, taxis, and other for-hire vehicles licensed by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The Buckeye pipeline pumps roughly 4.5 million gallons of gasoline per day into New York City and Long Island. Although power to the terminal was restored on Nov. 8, the temporary outage disrupted the fuel supply. The Governor’s office stated that the fuel supply to the northern suburbs were unaffected by the terminal going offline.

You can read more of Automotive Fleet's coverage of the fuel supply challenges in the northeast here.

Updated 11/8/2012 at 4:00 p.m. PST with information about NYC rule.

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  1. 1. Andrew S Harris [ November 08, 2012 @ 05:00PM ]

    How is it possible, in the year 2012, with all of the amazing, modern, space age technology that exists, that a vital energy production terminal/pipeline can lose power and be knocked offline?
    How is it not a Federal Law that these facilities be generator equipped in case of power loss so that the only way they are taken offline is in case of emergency? Doesn't NY Government realize fuel is part of our life support system? It just seems to me that these politicians talk a big game, but really do nothing for any of us. Mind boggling that the largest metropolis in the world has no gasoline for more than 10 days after a storm.

  2. 2. Lenny Scolaro [ November 09, 2012 @ 07:22AM ]

    Andrew the previous article discussed that the facility was under water due to the unusually high storm surge, and they have to replace much of the electrical infrastructure because of salt water damage.

  3. 3. Don THomson [ November 09, 2012 @ 08:54AM ]

    Backup generators are also not foolproof. They can get soaked, their fuel can get water infiltration, they can run out of fuel, they can fail because of inadequate maintenance. No entity can afford to make its infrastructure immune to all hazards. The recent storms in the northeast demonstrate for us that forces of nature are far more powerful overall than we are. Recovery from the massive damage inflicted by these storms will inevitably be a drawnout process. I'm wondering how many underground fuel storage tanks experienced water infiltration from the flooding.


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