FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                           CONTACT: Meredith Kelly

November 1, 2012                                                                                                             202-224-7433




Closed Port Has Been Severely Limiting Gas Supplies Coming to Region, Causing Widespread Shortages and Massive Lines


Schumer Spoke With Coast Guard Yesterday, Urging Them To Expedite Re-Opening Port for Backlogged, Vital Fuel Shipments


Today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Port of New York opening for fuel sources, paving the way critical fuel shipments to resume to the region.  Yesterday, due to multiple reports of gas shortages, Senator Schumer spoke directly with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) leadership at the Port of New York/New Jersey about the re-opening of the port to petroleum shipping.  Pursuant to the storm, the USCG shut down the Port to commercial shipping traffic, which includes petroleum supplies that affect New York City and Long Island, the Hudson Valley and Upstate New York.  Schumer asked the USCG to expedite their official review of the Port’s infrastructure and make petroleum access the number one priority for the re-opening of the Port.  Schumer said that re-opening of the Port to petroleum was crucial to resolving major reported gas shortages across New York City, Westchester and Long Island.


“With mass transit still hobbled and power still out in many parts of the New York City, Westchester and Long Island, gasoline is critical to the health and well being of those impacted by the storm, so many of who are now dependent on generators” said Schumer.  “There are a number of factors that are causing gas shortages and massive lines at the pump, but one of the critical ones was simply a lack of supply, and today we’re announcing that has been addressed.  The port is open, the backlogged barges can begin to dock and gas and will begin to flow into New York again.”


New York Harbor is the busiest oil port in the world, receiving an average of 900,000 barrels of petroleum products per day, according to the Energy Department.  According to a Reuters report, the New York Harbor is a critical hub for the region, with some 75 million barrels of storage capacity that allows companies to import, blend and trade everything from gasoline to jet fuel before trucking it to airports or fuel pumps.


The USCG reported to Schumer’s office today that the Port of New York/New Jersey is officially back open, with some restrictions.  Tons and barges can now transit fuel through the port to areas north and south, up the Hudson River and east to the Long Island Sound.  The USCG has opened one anchorage south of the Narrows Bridge so that ships can unload fuel to tugs and barges.  At around noon on Thursday, the USCG opened a second anchorage north of the Narrows.  However, none of the piers in the Port are able to open at this time and so fuel must be unloaded on to tugs and barges that will then transport the material to destinations North and South.  Schumer said that this should help relieve some of the gas shortages currently being experienced in places like Long Island.

Bazzo 11/02/12

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