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Electricity explains why some have gas, some don’t

November 3, 2012 • National News


Jessica Martin, 28, center, of New York, the first person in line, talks to Maria Degano, of New York, behind fence, as they and others line up for free gas in the Jamaica neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Trucks are being provided by the U.S. Department of Defense at the direction of President Barack Obama and are being deployed in coordination with the New York National Guard at the direction of the governor. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s a question that’s rankled and bewildered many in the Northeast: Why do some areas struck by Superstorm Sandy have plenty of gasoline and others still don’t?

It turns out we need electricity to drive. Even if we’re driving cars that run on gasoline. And many areas still have no power.

Without electricity, gasoline can’t be pumped from refineries, through pipelines, off tanker ships, out of terminals or from gas stations into Toyotas, Chevys and Fords.

“The problem will go away when the power is restored, and it won’t go away if it’s not,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service.

The gasoline crisis is expected to end within days as electricity comes back on in most areas of the Northeast.

That was small comfort to drivers who were trapped Saturday in gasoline lines that stretched for hours. The problems were concentrated in New York City, Long Island and Central and Northern New Jersey.

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