Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed mandatory backup power for all gas stations in New York. Thousands of gas stations in the state would need to get wired for backup power under legislation unveiled Wednesday.
Cuomo's proposal would affects any service station within a half mile of a highway exit or hurricane evacuation route. He said that if enacted, it would prevent the severe fuel shortages that struck after Hurricane Sandy.
“One of the simplest fixes...is the fuel that is in the tanks of the gas station,” Cuomo told reporters.
The state, under Cuomo’s plan, would provide grants of up to $10,000 per station to cover the wiring and other installation costs. Administration officials said they expected to tap federal Sandy recovery funds to cover the cost of the grants.
Glaser said the law would initially impact about a third of the state’s 6,000 fuel stations. Smaller stations that pump less than 75,000 gallons of fuel a month would be exempt. The initial cost to the government would be $20 million to fund the grants.
Stations would not be required to purchase generators but would need to have arrangements in place to ensure they are delivered within 24 hours of a power outage, officials said.
“This would be the most robust law anywhere in the country,” said Howard Glaser, Cuomo’s chief of operations.
Eventually, the state will require gas station chains with 10 or more stations anywhere in the state to have at least 50% of their stations wired for back up power by 2016. All newly constructed stations will be required to have provisions for backup power.
The gas station bill has the support of industry groups, including the New York Petroleum Council and the Long Island Gas Retailers Association, Glaser said.
Any costs not covered by the government grants would likely be passed on to the customers, raising NY's gas prices which, according to a CNN report are already the second highest in the country, with only California reporting higher gas prices.
If you like with this article, please forward it to family and friends.
Please click on the "SUBSCRIBE" button above to receive e-mail updates whenever new articles are published.