Long Lines and Frustration Grow at New Jersey’s Gas Stations: There’s No Gas Shortage, It’s a Delivery Shortage
Friday, November 2, 2012 • 5:43pm
NEW JERSEY - The gasoline-fueled hysteria that has New Jersey in its grip is not due to a gas shortage, according to one industry official, but is instead thanks to the ongoing lack of electricity throughout the area.
Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, C-Store, Automotive Association (NJGCA), told The Alternative Press on Friday afternoon that there is no gas shortage in the Garden State.
“There is no supply shortage,” Risalvato emphasized. “This is a delivery shortage. There is plenty of gas that cannot be loaded onto trucks because the distribution terminals either have no power or have been damaged by the storm.”
Risalvato said the problem is largely at the distribution terminals in the northern part of state.
“The terminals in the southern part of state have relatively few problems,” he said.
While the distribution centers have plenty of gasoline, the bigger issue is getting the product to gas stations that have not had electricity since the storm.
“There are many gas stations that don’t have power,” he said. “I’ve been compiling a list to send to the governor’s office of stations that have between 10,000 and 18,000 gallons of gas in the ground but can’t pump it.”
Risalvato said there is relief in sight for agitated New Jerseyans who are weary of waiting in line for up to four hours, on foot or in their cars, for a minimal amount of gasoline.
“Part of the frenzy you’re seeing right now is people trying to fill up their containers to fuel their generators at home,” he said. “Rightfully so – it’s hard to be without heat and refrigeration for so many days. People are starting to panic. Once they start getting electricity back into their homes, it will help alleviate the problem.”
Risalvato said he expects the problem will begin to ease by the end of this weekend, and will return to near normalcy by the end of next week.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Governor Chris Christie has acted to boost supplies of gasoline and diesel in New Jersey by directing Treasury officials to waive licensing requirements that affect merchants’ ability to buy fuel from out-of-state suppliers.
Under normal conditions, merchants not licensed to import fuel can’t legally buy gasoline and diesel from out of state and import it. The waiver, which will be in place until Nov. 7, will boost storm-depleted supplies by allowing all merchants temporarily to buy fuel from out of state for their New Jersey customers, according to the govenor’s office.
“When shortages threaten after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, fuel buyers need to venture farther from state borders to ensure that their customers get the gasoline and diesel they need,” Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said. “Temporarily suspending licensing is a prudent way of empowering merchants to buy fuel farther from the state line, boosting supplies for New Jersey motorists who need fuel to get to work and do their jobs.”
The New Jersey Office of Emergency Management has released a list of gas stations, along with pharmacies, hotels and restaurants that have electricity and are open for business. The link below provides the current list: