Insight: After Sandy, Big Oil's pumps fail motorists

Comments (21)

Once electric personal and commercial vehicles become the overwhelming norm, who is responsible for keeping them running when the power shuts off for hours, days or weeks, for whatever reason.
Perhaps it is time to mandate solar panels to automatically charge each new electric vehicle sold from now on. As for fossil fuel vehicles — too bad. They’re at the mercy of existing nature and market forces.

Nov 09, 2012 2:01am EST  --  Report as abuse
randburg100 wrote:

RudyHaugeneder wrote:

Once electric personal and commercial vehicles become the overwhelming norm, who is responsible for keeping them running when the power shuts off for hours, days or weeks, for whatever reason.
Perhaps it is time to mandate solar panels to automatically charge each new electric vehicle sold from now on. As for fossil fuel vehicles — too bad. They’re at the mercy of existing nature and market forces.

Errrrrrrr so that will be in approximately 300 years…..electric vehicles won’t become “the norm” …too many vested interests against that….

Nov 09, 2012 2:29am EST  --  Report as abuse
VonHell wrote:

The gas shortage is about the same of any disaster shortage…
Soon after the storm people “storm” the gas station to fill the tank “as a precaution”, even if they have no imediate need… so the lack of eletricity plus the long lines overload the system… and you have a shortage…

Soon the news are all around the TV, internet, social networks… and all people decide to take the car to fill the tank as a precaution… or those red gallons… (i personally dont know a single person that owns one of those red gallons of gasoline and i bet many bought one after the storm)
So a system designed to fill a small % of the cars a day (because otherwise would be only empty gas stations) is overloaded… and the remaining people start to be out of gas… and in the end a lot of people are out of gas…

If the NJ governor or NYC mayor were a bit smart they would had appeared on TV soon after the storm and said the distribution would be normal after a week and people should not run to the stations (instead engaging political battles or marathons of normality)… because that is true… or should be… now they should say it will take far more time… but would not be very smart with all people angry…lol

Nov 09, 2012 2:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
buildthewall wrote:

Obama doubled the cost of gas up the back side of the USA. Get ready for 7.50 a gallon gas. 4 more years.

Nov 09, 2012 3:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
sylvan wrote:

I am amazed at how moronic some big companies behave. To be one of the largest corporations in the world and have no control over your retail distribution just seems dumb. Just another reason to continue to boycott Exxon, BP, and Shell.
I believe the power distributors also need to be held responsible. To keep restringing the same wires through trees, only to have that infrastructure wiped out in every storm seems short sighted.

Nov 09, 2012 4:57am EST  --  Report as abuse

It seems extraordinary that the major suppliers could not replicate what they do in Florida, whether mandated or not.

I particularly liked the highlighted Exxon line advising investors that it did “not own or operate any gas stations, fuel terminals or refineries in the impacted areas” of Sandy. It was run in their press release “ExxonMobil Supports Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief and Recovery”, one is pressed to see exactly how. Blankets and tents for drivers perhaps?

Nov 09, 2012 5:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
PKFA wrote:

If the mayor can eliminate supersizing sugary drinks he will certainly be able to get the required votes to mandate backup generators at gas stations. At the same time, while emotions are hot, why not mandate that the power companies bury their wires (a secondary benefit would be job creation)? And in light of Mr. Mayor’s farsighted analysis that his city will continue to be the victim of climate change, how about building flood walls and pumping stations a la New Orleans (more jobs). And shouldn’t the citizenry, in the name of social responsibility, be required to have emergency stockpiles of food, water, batteries and gasoline so as to reduce the burden on public resources during troubling times? And yes, let’s suspend contract law for the duration of the emergency so that Abdulah and Raj and Charlie give up their business franchises so that the major oil companies can take over their businesses temporarily and run them in a responsible manner.

Nov 09, 2012 5:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

Hess always has gasoline when no one else does after a disaster. Hess is a relatively small company in the oil business, which means it is fast and quick and can adapt, unlike the giants.
Hess is a good company.
I would bet money that the gasoline not sold in the Sandy area by Exxon was exported for much higher profits. Any excuse for profits.

Nov 09, 2012 7:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
John2244 wrote:

Simple solution – start planning 5 days before the storm like in many places in Asia. Create a full day off starting 48 hours before so trucks can ship extra gas on clear roads – truck logistics should be limited to gas, water and groceries to eliminate pre storm distribution traffic. At the same time sell extra gas while roads are clear in gas jugs. Then when the storm leaves the government can make decisions based on the assumption that everyone has a full tank and spare. Policies can be put in place for example to drive to work if close by, car share X 4 mandatory, or work from home if more than 10 miles. This works like a charm and there is no need to have loads of expensive equipment.

If there is no major damage then – the loss is usually about 1.5 GDP days and the excess gas is burned off inventory within a couple of weeks. Not a huge cost to recover 6-10 GDP days on the tail end of the storm.

Nov 09, 2012 7:29am EST  --  Report as abuse
Missourimule wrote:

Well, the important thing is that they found a way to cast their vote for Obama, and to give him credit for the ‘great job’ he did in the aftermath . . . .

Nov 09, 2012 8:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
morbas wrote:

We need coverage about the magnitude of Sandy catastrophe, Morning Joe is saying we have families stranded with no shelter, no transportation , no where to turn. FEMA is overwhelmed. The Magnitude of this catastrophe is not in the news. Perhaps the North East Region citizens need to be mobilized, we do not know.

Nov 09, 2012 9:05am EST  --  Report as abuse

Last Thursday,the current Governor of New York,Andrew Cuomo stated that 28 Millions of gas were on the way to the NY Metro Area.A website is then created to indicate which Gas stations have gasoline available.As of 5A.M.today,odd/even rationing goes into effect in NJ,NYC as well as Nassau/Suffolk.This “special” website indicated that a MOBIL station a mile from my home(the site was updated “4 minutes ago”).Station had no gas whatsoever.

Gas was $3.75/gallon last Sunday,the day SANDY hit. If gas becomes available,curious to see what the price will be????

Newsconference from Oceanside LI today.No doubt it’ll turn into a rally.Wonder if Current Governor Cuomo will have the balls to attend?

“I’ll retire to Bedlam” – Ebeneezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol)

Nov 09, 2012 11:00am EST  --  Report as abuse
BioStudies wrote:

And the attack on Oil continues!!!

Makes me just sick.

Nov 09, 2012 11:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Time to switch to natural gas vehicles. The infrastructure is already in place (it’s already piped to your house and office). And it needs no electricity on-site for delivery or pumping.

Oil is outdated. Too clunky, too many bottlenecks at refineries, ports, gas stations. Natural gas needs none of that. Plus it burns cleaner and we have far more of it.

Nov 09, 2012 11:31am EST  --  Report as abuse
randburg100 wrote:

buildthewall wrote:
Obama doubled the cost of gas up the back side of the USA. Get ready for 7.50 a gallon gas. 4 more years.

I wish our petrol/gas was that cheap! Try abou $10 per gallon as we get the privilige of paying in the UK…..

Nov 09, 2012 11:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
anarcurt wrote:

Hess has managed this better than any company. Providing the inventory levels of all it’s stations updated every two hours has made it easy to know if the station you go to will have fuel. They’ve done a good job organizing the lines and have kept their prices at a reasonable rate. I’d guess they will see a huge bump up in customer loyalty after this.

Nov 09, 2012 11:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
qewdirmv wrote:

Seriously, why are we giving big oil all those subsidies? How about they supply their franchisee’s with generators? Guess that would hurt the bottom line, huh?

Nov 09, 2012 12:16pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Having every gas station have a generator, seems like overkill. Sometimes people just need to suffer a little, to appreciate how good things were and can be again.

Nov 09, 2012 1:13pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

BioStudies complains: “And the attack on Oil continues!!! Makes me just sick. ”

More specifically, Big Oil. The article points out that the local and regional outfits have done four times better at having their stations supplied and running right. So regarding big oil and your apparent fondness for them, well if they’d quit chumping it…. maybe public opinion would swing more their way? Can’t help you there.

Nov 09, 2012 1:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
neahkahnie wrote:

With the billions in profit that Mobil, BP and the other “biggies” make, they should buy the generators themselves and GIVE them to the gas stations. For the big companies, it’s “coffee money.” Oops, I forgot. It’s all about greed and high profit, not about SERVICE as in SERVICE station.

Nov 09, 2012 3:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
PaulCoupland wrote:

Why not harness solar energy to power the fuel pumps as a regular thing & store the excess energy generated into storage batteries for use when storms hit? Gas Generators are great except that they need fuel which cannot be pumped if the electric power is out!

Nov 12, 2012 11:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
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