Amid tense reactions to long lines and closures at metropolitan New York gas stations, federal authorities decided to request that the Defense Department deliver 24 million gallons of extra fuel to the area and lift restrictions on deliveries from foreign ships, the New York Times reported. The fuel shortage has been one of the most pronounced consequences of Superstorm Sandy.
The Defense Department will hire hundreds of trucks to deliver 12 million gallons each of gasoline and diesel fuel from commercial suppliers to staging areas in New Jersey. A delivery of that size would fill about 800,000 vehicles with 15-gallon tanks, estimates the New York Times.
New York reopened its port to tankers on Thursday and a crucial Northeast fuel pipeline was brought back to full capacity on Friday. Now, the biggest obstacles are lack of power at hundreds of New York-area gas stations and continued public buying, according to industry officials. Multiple refineries in the New York region are also still out of service.
Diana Weir, campaign manager for New York Congressional district 1’s Republican candidate Randy Altschuler, stated that the fuel shortage has been problematic for drivers and for local Congressional campaigns. “There’s a major gasoline crisis, a lot of stations are out of commission because of power, so they can’t pump their gas,” she said Thursday. “Others have huge lines of people trying to get gas. We’ve had to revert to walking campaigning as opposed to driving to connect with the community as a result.”