U.S. to create gasoline stockpile in Northeast in case of storms
The federal government plans to create a million-barrel gasoline reserve in the Northeast to help the region avoid fuel shortages that follow extreme weather like Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
The gas reserve will be divided between two spots -- one near New York Harbor and another in New England. Each will store about 500,000 barrels, enough for temporary relief in the case of “significant disruptions,” the Energy Department said Friday.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the Northeast learned a lesson when Sandy wreaked havoc on the region’s fuel supplies.
“The sudden, massive gas supply shortage after Superstorm Sandy resulted in interminable lines, panic, and delivered a gut shot to the region’s economy,” Schumer said in a Friday statement. “That’s why we called for regionally placed reserves.”
The 2012 storm damaged two oil refineries and forced more than 40 terminals to close in New York Harbor after sustaining water damage.
Nearly 70% of gas stations in the New York area were closed in the days following Sandy, according to the Energy Information Administration. Some New York gas stations stayed closed for a month.
The Energy Department said the new gas supplies would complement its million-barrel stockpile of heating oil currently held in the Northeast.
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