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Editorial: Gasoline supplies will be very welcome

Customers waited for hours to fill their tanks

Customers waited for hours to fill their tanks at the Sunoco on Ardsley Road and Central Park Avenue in Greenville. Gas is scarce after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Hudson Valley and damaged several ports on the East Coast responsible for shipping the fuel across the country. (Nov. 1, 2012) Credit: Faye Murman

The cavalry -- better yet, the tanks -- are coming soon. We've been promised that buying gas could soon return to being ordinary, rather than the hours-long hassle it's become since superstorm Sandy.

That's none too soon.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an executive order late Thursday waiving a state requirement that fuel tankers register and pay a tax before unloading. That order, coupled with a reopening of New York's Harbor and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's decision to waive certain maritime rules on foreign oil tankers, should help get gasoline to stations in our region after shortages created in the wake of Sandy.

That should ease some of the problems, notably the panic, fear and those long lines and related confusion that we've seen in recent days at service stations. The 10-gallon limits imposed by government officials in places like Rockland County and Yonkers may be short-lived, too. And for those stations that are gouging, your customers are taking names, so don't expect to be so popular when filling up returns to normal.

A barge loaded with gasoline arrived upstate in Newburgh on Friday, Cuomo said. Gasoline distribution terminals throughout the region are expected to be back on line soon; some were closed because of a lack of supplies or electricity because of the storm.

It could still be a few days before all gas stations are operating fully as supplies get through and electricity for pumps is restored.

Until then, don't plan any long road trips.


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