Two years ago, Superstorm Sandy caused massive property damage and forever changed the lives of countless residents in the Northeast. The storm also created a big headache for car owners due to gasoline shortages.
Consequently, the federal government has decided to be proactive by creating a reserve of gasoline in the event of another major storm like Sandy.
The reserve will amount to 1 million barrels of gasoline. It will be divided among one location near the New York Harbor and another in New England. The Department of Energy says this will be the first federal regional refined petroleum product reserve containing gasoline.
The Department says that each location will contain 500,000 barrels of gasoline. They say this should be enough to offer short-term relief if there is another severe storm.
“The new reserve complements the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, a one million barrel supply of diesel for the Northeast. Emergency withdrawals from NEHHOR were used for the first time in response to Superstorm Sandy to supply first responders and emergency generators in the region. Today’s announcement builds on the Obama Administration’s broader commitment to enable a more secure and resilient energy infrastructure,” said the Department of Energy in a written statement.
Energy supplies in the Northeast are vulnerable to natural disasters since major product supply and distribution infrastructures are located along U.S. coasts. The Department of Energy says Superstorm Sandy resulted in significant damage to two refineries, and more than 40 terminals in New York Harbor were closed due to water damage and loss of power. As a result, some New York gas stations had no fuel for as long as 30 days.