WASHINGTON May 2 The United States plans to
increase its stores of gasoline in response to shortages in New
York and other nearby states in the wake of Superstorm Sandy in
late 2012, a report on Friday said.
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is expected to announce
the million-barrel, $215 million reserve build-up later on
Friday, according to the New York Times.
The move aims to help shore up energy in the nation's
Northeast corridor, which was battered by the October 2012 storm
that disrupted gasoline supplies and led to shortages in the
area for several weeks.
Some gas stations remained empty and people in New York and
the surrounding area were left without gas for their cars and
other needs as two major New York-area refineries were shut down
as well as 25 regional fuel terminals, the report said.
The shortages led to some of the largest jumps in gas prices
in New York's history, despite the state's price gouging law
aimed at preventing sellers from taking advantage of consumers
amid such natural disasters, and some sellers faced fines.
U.S. senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, had asked
the Energy Department to review the situation and find a way to
prevent similar shortages in the future, according to the Times.
Representatives for the Energy Department and Schumer could
not be reached immediately.
Moniz and Schumer are scheduled to make a statement later on
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)