As gas prices drop elsewhere, New York begins rationing
As predicted (sort of), gas prices have dropped after Hurricane Sandy.
[A]round the country, and even in states affected by Sandy, [a] trend has arisen, with gas prices dropping dramatically pretty much everywhere. According to Reuters, gas prices nationally decreased nearly 21¢ over the two-week span ending November 2. That’s the steepest dip measured since 2008, when demand for gasoline plummeted amid the onset of the Great Recession.
Except … not really. Here’s a graph of gas prices over the past three months. The blue line is the national average price. The red line is the price in New York City. The green line is the price in Philadelphia, a city only lightly affected by the storm.
Notice that the “post-Sandy” decline continues a downward trend. Gas prices started dropping in the middle of last month; the decline in the last week is a continuation of that. If anything, it’s flattening — perhaps in part because of the spike in New York and the area hardest-hit by the storm.
As we’ve mentioned, getting gas in New York continues to be a tricky matter — one that Athena made worse. Today, the city of New York announced a rationing plan similar to one already in place in New Jersey.
Hurricane Sandy caused significant flooding and damage to petroleum infrastructure throughout the tri-state region — causing refineries to shut down, pumping stations to lose electricity and terminals in the region to close. Since then, the majority of the region’s pipeline and critical infrastructure has been restored and power has returned to Buckeye pipeline, a major interstate pipeline that serves New York City. As the region’s petroleum infrastructure continues to come back online, gradually increasing the supply of available gasoline, the City is implementing the odd-even system — starting 6:00 AM on Friday — to accelerate the recovery of the distribution network and ease disruptions and wait times for drivers attempting to fuel their vehicles. [The odd-even system permits gas purchases every other day depending on the final digit of a car’s license plate.]
So, in summary: Gas prices are going down, but Sandy had nothing to do with it, except in New York, where you can’t really buy gas anyway. And there you go.