US taps reserves to calm NY, NJ fuel panic post Sandy
Four days before the U.S. presidential election, the Obama administration made an all-out effort to ease the crisis, authorizing the Defense Logistics Agency to buy and deliver up to 22 million gallons of fuel for the region, waiving a rule barring foreign-flagged vessels transiting U.S. ports and loaning out diesel from the Northeast heating oil stockpile.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ordered gasoline rationing starting at noon on Saturday, an action likely to draw comparisons with the 1970s oil crisis.
New York temporarily lifted tax and registration requirements on tankers docking in New York Harbor, which had just reopened to oil vessels. There should be a real change in conditions and people should see it quickly, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. While the shipping waivers sent benchmark New York gasoline futures 2 percent lower, they will do little to address the immediate obstacle to getting fuel to consumers: power outages that shut two-thirds of the filling stations in New Jersey and the New York City area were still hindering service at oil terminals and refineries in the region.
While the main fuel pipeline from the U.S. Gulf Coast region resumed shipments on Friday and a handful of oil storage terminals began shipping fuel again
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