Gas Rationing Begins in New York

Friday, November 09, 2012

Waiting on line to pay cash for gas to fill gas cans at the Hess station on Union St. and 4th Ave. in Brooklyn Waiting on line to pay cash for gas to fill gas cans at the Hess station on Union St. and 4th Ave. in Brooklyn (Amy Pearl/WNYC)

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the availability of gas in New York and New Jersey went down while the demand for it went up. Within days, Governor Chris Christie responded by rationing gas in New Jersey. And Governor Mike Bloomberg’s rationing plan goes into effect today in New York.

Meanwhile, consumers, desperate for gas, and terrified of not getting it, are waiting, in some cases, for over ten hours at the pump. And profiteers who stocked up pre-Sandy are selling gas for up to $20 per gallon on Craigslist.

In the face of this gas shortage, are East Coasters turning into lunatics? Or are they acting as anyone would when measuring supply versus demand?

Christopher Knittel says that in cases like these, fear can drive fear. But the solution might be simpler than you think. Knittel is professor of energy economics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

A World War II ration book

World War II ration stamps


Christopher Knittel

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [4]

oscar from ny

I would like to thank all those bus drivers out there that relieved many peoples travel in nyc <3...

Nov. 10 2012 02:30 PM
LarryFisher from Brooklyn, N.Y,

Is the tank half empty or half full?

Most people I know can't afford a full tank of gas anymore anyway

Nov. 09 2012 12:54 PM

Where is the hyped Presidential leadership now regarding the supposedly masterful government response to Sandy and the looming fiscal hurricane which will be far more terrible?
The election is over and he is off to Asia for a victory lap.
Will the media inform their audience of this abrupt about-face of concern from the President?
If not, why not?

Nov. 09 2012 11:12 AM
Angel from Miami, FL

How can stations still have no power? Electric generators, anyone? Plus, it's not like they're down a peninsula. Fuel delivery can come from any direction. Why aren't there mobile fueling stations? If a truck can roll up and serve people a gourmet snack why isn't there a truck rolling up to feed our cars at the same time?

Nov. 09 2012 09:12 AM

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