Skip to comments.Why East Coast Gas Shortages May Not End for a Week
Posted on 11/02/2012 7:28:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Power outages at hundreds of gas stations and a distribution bottleneck due to flooding damage and power loss has caused a gasoline shortage in the New York metropolitan area that may not be cleared up for at least a week, according to industry experts.
What was a problem for drivers when Super Storm Sandy ended two days ago has become a nightmare for frazzled motorists who find themselves in gas lines that can stretch on for hours. Some lines were hundreds of cars long in sections of New Jersey and New York Thursday, and in a number of locations police monitored the lines which interfered with traffic flow in some areas.
The problem is not gasoline supplies, but the ability to distribute it, especially from the critical terminal area around Linden, N.J., which lost power and was hit by storm surge. An estimated 75 percent or more of the gas stations in New Jersey were closed either because they had no gasoline, no power or both, said Sal Risalvato, executive director of the N.J. Gasoline, Convenience, Automotive Association. His organization represents about 1,000 gasoline stations in N.J.
What Im seeing is theres a combination of problems. Power is at the root of it. That means gasoline that is already in inventory, already refined in those big tanks you see along the side of the turnpike, they cant get that gasoline into the delivery trucks without power, said Risalvato.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com ...
Every gas station ought to be required to have generators to make gas available in an electricity outage. This happens over and over. The EPA made every station install double-walled underground tanks for gasoline storage to avoid leakage, which cost thousands of dollars and put smaller stations out of business. But generators that would cost much less aren’t required. Crazy.
This lack of power for the pumps ought to be a concern of the Dept. of Homeland Security, because our enemies are watching this chaos and know exactly how dependent we are on our access to gasoline.
Yet Sandy is supposedly sealing victory for Obama.
All the Eeyores need to get a grip.
Welcome to Obamaville!
We don’t need more refineries, we need more solar and wind power /s
I've got an idea, why don't they limit the size of gas cans to 1/4 gallon and that way everybody can have gasoline...... and won't hurt the environment
Not sure I like that. I do think they need to work on the power infrastructure and move to more underground feeds. Just too much of it is vulnerable to falling branches and trees. I know that is not cheap but neither is the restoration from these events. If the feds lightened up on regulations perhaps tpower companies would have more money for modernization.
Not all that long a time ago, we had a distributed-energy transportation system: horses. People as a matter of course stocked up on "fuel" to keep these carriages going. We used to have a distributed-government system, too, where the intensity of government increases as you moved down the government chain. Local government could call on the higher levels for help.
Now? our transportation system is too centralized. Gas is in short supply where it's needed not because there is no gas, it's because it is in the wrong place, in centralized storage tanks, and no significant means to get it where it is needed. Why? Because another centralized resource, electric power, has been knocked out by the storm.
The reason this becomes important is because we have another just-in-time system in place: food distribution. Instead of large stockpiles that would last a week, the typical store carries less than a day's supply of the necessaries. Without regular resupply, the shelves are bare. And what happened to the resupply? Gas/Diesel fuel not in the right place.
The term the National Transportation Safety Board uses for this domino effect is "failure cascade".
If that weren't bad enough, I saw the story this morning about recovery workers being told to move on (after they were invited to come up from Alabama!) because they were non-union employees. The Democrats talk about how the Republicans' health plan will cause people to die...yet their base inflicts the same penalty on innocents because someone with skills can't help because they don't carry a particular kind of card.
But I'm preaching to the choir, aren't I?
” New Jersey gas stations . . . cannot raise their prices by more than 10 percent above pre-Sandy prices under state law due to the current state of emergency.”
Gotta make sure there’s not enough incentive to cause out-of-state gasoline suppliers to divert supplies to NJ where people are in critical need of gasoline SOMEHOW . . .
I can’t believe all the “Obama-gasm” in the media over Obama handling this storm relief effort.
Obama shows up, tours devastation with Chris Christie, and the liberals are heaping all this praise on Obama? For what exactly? For doing his job?
Meanwhile, we are hearing that areas of New York such as Staten Island are in bad shape, but the media is simply not reporting certain stories.
It’s enough to make you think that the media have an agenda, and that agenda is that whatever happens, they want to cast Obama in the best possible light.
If people were free to set aprice the market would bear the shortage would be over this weekend. You might pay $10/gallon but at least you’d have a choice.
Then there is the tendency to install diesel generators in basements. Seawater and diesel don't mix, either.
And, to make things even worse, some people tend to fix yesterday's problems, thinking that history will repeat itself. Don't get me wrong, history can repeat itself. But all too often history will ring in changes that get around all your "careful planning" and dump you back in the Dark Ages. Like having waves of sea water higher than you have ever experienced before. Remember the Japan reactors?
People could use some wind and solar in the buildings in Hoboken where they are cutoff by flooding. An all of the above energy strategy would help in situations like this. I wish I had solar panel or windmill on my building right now. We have been without power since Sunday.
Don't airliners have emergency windmill generators for emergencies to generate power, like that one that ran out of fuel.
If the government wanted to impose a rule that would cost the retail gas businesses very little, but would be of immense value in SHTF situations, it would be that every new, or rebuilt, gas station had locked panel/junction box (the name doesn't matter) where you could throw a switch that disconnected the pumps from local power grid, and connect them to a portable generator. I wouldn't even require a generator, Just a safe way to hook one up. Gas pumps shouldn't draw a lot of amps, so a hardware store generator should be enough to get gas and diesel flowing again.
If the pumps need 240 volts many consumer generators can’t accommodate that.
Well I can understand Christie sucking up to Obama if thereby he can garner better and faster help from Washington. It’s a scandal that it’s needed, of course.
Sure, but I think that most pumps are 110-120, and 220v generators aren't much more than 110v.
The big thing is that the National Electrical Code and National Fire Code, will require that the generator cut in location be far away from the pumps, and that the generator not start pushing current out the "in" wire and back out on the grid. The State should write a good spec, then forbid local government from screwing with it.
A good idea, but sometimes the best laid plans . . . Back in the '80s, I worked in an oil camp in Venezuela. They were always having power outages due to large snakes shorting out the transformers or LARGE parrots roosting on power lines until they sagged and arced.
So . . .they got some 50 gallon drums of diesel and a backup generator. Sure enough, the power went out, so they went to start the generator. Oops, gas tank was empty. No problem, refill tank from drums. The only problem was that the transfer pump was electrically driven and nothing manual was handy.
once the temporary distribution and power issues are over, Bloomberg will be telling all the motorists they should’t be driving cars anyway, they should only be taking mass transit into the city
the more other systems are dependent on some increasingly centralized system, the more that “failure cascade” is likely when any big failure occurs
the fact is that our systems have become somewhat more economical, when everything is working, and more the source of spreading and making worse the effects of any disaster
I keep saying that if there is any really good future to solar and wind power, and “alternative” fuels it is to make for LESS dependency on “the grid” and to find more ways that energy can be supplied for local needs by local means - everything from your rooftop to a mini-storage-shed size nuclear power plant just for your own town (yes, they exist)