New York will keep three million gallons of gasoline in reserve to safeguard against shortages, Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced on Saturday — almost exactly a year since Hurricane Sandy caused long lines and short tempers at gas stations.
The $10 million pilot program, the Strategic Gasoline Reserve, will be the first state gasoline reserve in the country. It is the latest step in New York State’s Fuel NY initiative, which launched in June in response to the Sandy shortages, which saw many gas stations close due to lack of power and fuel.
The supply will be held in Long Island, but it could be delivered to other parts of the state. It will provide fuel for first responders and motorists in the event of another disaster.
“New York State is leading the nation with the creation of our first Strategic Gasoline Reserve which will prevent the days of long lines at gas stations if another storm hits,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The gap in gasoline supplies during Superstorm Sandy was incredibly disruptive to the daily routines of New Yorkers who needed to get to school and work as well as the operations of businesses during an already difficult time.”