In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, cities on the East Coast are enduring widespread power outages, infrastructure complications, and even gasoline shortages. As a consequence, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued an executive order late Friday that instituted an odd-even gas rationing system in 12 northern New Jersey counties.
Under the order, motorists will be permitted to buy gasoline just every other day, depending on their license plate numbers. Drivers with plates ending in an even number will be able to purchase gas on even-number days, while those with plates ending in an odd number will be allowed to purchase gas on odd-numbered days.
Through rationing, the governor’s initiative intends to curb long wait times at gas stations while preventing a widespread fuel shortage in one of the states hardest hit by the massive storm. “I encourage all New Jerseyans to abide by this system — motorists and retail dealers alike — to ease wait times and improve access for everyone,” Attorney General Jeffery Chiesa asserted in a statement. "Those who choose to disregard this order will be prosecuted to the fullest extent permitted under the Governor's state of emergency authority.”
Vexation continues to intensify as states such as Connecticut and New York are also encountering severe fuel shortages, leading to increased driver tension and even gas station closings. Many Connecticut drivers have been bumped in line by New York City taxi drivers who have traveled to their state desperate to fill their fuel tanks.
Officials say the gas shortages are not due to lack of supply, but instead are caused by power outages, which have shuttered fuel depots across New Jersey. Only 30 percent of gas stations are open north of Interstate I-95, which cuts through the middle of the state, while 95 percent of those stations south of the interstate are operating, Christie told reporters Saturday.
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