Tag Archives: fuel

3 Queens gas stations accused of price gouging


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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As lines grew at gas stations throughout Queens, prices at the pump swelled as well, prompting an investigation into gouging.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the first series of actions in what his office called “a wide-ranging investigation” into post-Sandy price gouging at gas stations throughout New York. The attorney general plans to begin enforcement proceedings against the 13 New York gas stations, while investigating hundreds of others.

“Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging and we are taking action to send a message that ripping off New Yorkers is against the law,” said Schneiderman.

Three of the targeted gas stations are in Queens:

• The Mobil station at 40-40 Crescent Street in Long Island City, which according to consumer complaints charged customers $4.89.

• The Shell at 71-08 Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, where customer complaints said drivers were charged $5.50.

• The Delta station at 13-09 14th Avenue in College Point, which charged $5, according to consumer complaints.

According to the state’s business laws, merchants are prohibited from taking advantage of consumers during an “abnormal disruption of the market” by hiking prices to an “unconscionably excessive price.”

While “unconscionably excessive price” is not specifically defined, the attorney general’s office said a before and after analysis of prices can be used as evidence.

Gas prices jumped 15 cents in the two weeks after Superstorm Sandy, even as gas prices nationwide fell.

“These 13 retailers stand out from others in the high prices they have charged and in the size of their price increases,” Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman said that the L.I.C. Mobil station had a posted price of $3.89, but after waiting on a three-block line, the consumer found the price at the pump to be a dollar higher. The station would not comment on the investigation.

A worker at the Delta station said they were forced to up prices after the cost of the gas they were buying also rose.

After Sandy, the station was paying $3.89 per gallon, a 48 cent jump from before the storm, according to receipts.

Six employees, up from one, were also working around the clock at the full-service station to keep up with the demand, which pushed prices higher, said the employee, John, who did not want to give his last name.

“What were we going to do, take the money out of our pocket? No, you put it in the price,” said John, who also said that the station’s prices never went above $4.50.

If gas stations can justify why their costs went up, they will not be charged, said the attorney general’s office.

Penalties for price gouging includes fines, which are calculated based on how much illegal profits were made, according to the attorney general’s office.

Councilmember Peter Vallone does not think the punishment goes far enough.

“Clearly, the penalties that exist are insufficient to protect the public in times of crisis,” Vallone said. “These gas stations in particular apparently see fines as the cost of doing business. Anyone who would try to profit from another person’s pain during an emergency deserves to face jail time.”

Gas rationing begins today in NYC


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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More than a week into the gas shortage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an emergency order rationing gas to begin Friday morning at 6.

Cars with license plates ending in odd numbers or a letter will be able to purchase gas on odd numbered days; vehicles with plates ending in even numbers can purchase on even numbered days.

Long Island and Westchester have also issued alternate day gas rations.

“This is designed to make sure everyone has a fair chance, that the lines aren’t too oppressive and that we can get through this,” the mayor said.

The announcement comes as Bloomberg said the shortage may continue until Thanksgiving.

Police officers will be at stations to enforce the order, Bloomberg said.  Violations are Class B misdemeanors, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

Driver’s frustrations have grown with the lines at gas stations.

“The gasoline shortages remain a real problem for drivers throughout our region,” Bloomberg said.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie installed a similar rationing plan in the state nearly two weeks ago that significantly cut down on gas lines.

Emergency vehicles, buses, para-transit vehicles, commercial vehicles, taxis and cars with medical license plates are exempt from the order.

As of now, the order will remain in effect for five days.

 

Queens Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Today’s Weather

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 54. Northwest wind 13 to 16 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph.

Event of the Day: William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”

E Phoenix Idealis Theater, Inc. delivers this classic story for a modern audience. Directed by Rachel Alt and Ben Fabrizi, it opens November 9 for a limited run at the Poppenhusen Institute in College Point. Find our more or view more events

Gas rationing begins today in NYC

More than a week into the gas shortage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an emergency order rationing gas to begin Friday morning at 6. Cars with license plates ending in odd numbers or a letter will be able to purchase gas on odd numbered days; vehicles with plates ending in even numbers can purchase on even numbered days. Read more: Queens Courier

Housing Authority scrambling to restore power to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn by this weekend

The Housing Authority is scrambling to restore power by this weekend to 11 developments in Queens and Brooklyn that went dark more than a week ago. It doesn’t look promising. NYCHA Chairman John Rhea on Wednesday said he hoped to accomplish this, but a day later Mayor Bloomberg was saying, “I’m not sure we can make it.” Read more: Daily News

Residents displaced by Sandy are staring at life in Staten Island ‘jail’

The state is eyeing the recently shuttered Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on Staten Island as a temporary home for people displaced by the ravages of Sandy and this week’s nasty nor’easter, officials said yesterday. Closed last December, the medium-security prison could feed and sleep as many as 900 people with nowhere else to go. Read more: NY Post

Students in displaced schools can now attend nearest school they can get to

On Thursday, for the first time since Oct. 26, every New York City public school was open. But nearly 200,000 students were still out, like a Coney Island third grader whose school building was damaged and relocated miles away in Bensonhurst. His elderly grandmother couldn’t get him to the new site. Read more: NY1

Personal items battered by Sandy litter temp landfill in Jacob Riis Park

Baby toys, photo albums, broken china—these are just some precious items that can be found in fast rising heaps of waste at a temporary landfill in Jacob Riis Park. Debris from storm battered Far Rockaway has been piling up at the park’s parking lot –by thousands of tons a day—thanks to sanitation workers who have been clearing thrash and sand-clogged streets. Read more: NY Post

Iran fires at U.S. drone over Persian Gulf, but misses: Pentagon

Iranian attack aircraft fired multiple rounds at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace over the Persian Gulf last week, the Pentagon revealed Thursday. The rounds missed. But the incident — the first known attempt by Iranian warplanes to take out a U.S. drone — added intrigue to the extremely tense relationship between between America and Iran. Read more: Daily News

Hours-long gas lines remain as Gov lifts restrictions to ease shortage


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Maggie Hayes

With millions of New Yorkers heading back to work and limited subway service, many residents hopped in their cars only to find no place to fill up.

“Gas is in short supply,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the daily press conference updating New Yorkers on the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy.

Senator Charles Schumer announced the reopening of New York Harbor for fuel yesterday to help alleviate the shortage.

Stations need product and the reopening of the harbor will help a great deal, said Ralph Bombardiere, executive director of the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops.

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.

Cuomo also signed an executive order waiving the states requirements the registration and tax requirement for fuel tankers before unloading at the harbor and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano waived the Jones Act which will bring additional tankers with fuel into the region.

“It’s going to be better in the near future,” Cuomo said.

As of this morning, long lines litter the gas stations throughout the borough that still have gas, with drivers waiting hours.

Other stations are still without electricity, preventing them from pumping gas.

“Those gas stations that have gas have no electricity and stations with electricity don’t have any gas,” said Bombardiere.

Whenever a station does get a shipment of gas, they get mobbed and quickly run out, said Chris Mcbride, community transportation specialist at AAA.

With news of a gas shortage spreading over social media, residents panic and fill up even if they have a half-tank, said Bombardiere.

“A lot of the reserves are in people’s tanks” he said.

This can quickly become a problem in a shortage.

“You wouldn’t want too many people hoarding it, if it means some people have none,” said Mcbride.

The length of the shortage will likely depend on how long power is out in a significant portion of the area, Mcbride said.  If the outage continues much longer, the government will need to get involved, he said.

“Once power is restored, more stations will open and when people see that, there will be less of a rush and less demand,” said Mcbride.

Bombardiere expects “a nail-biting situation until the weekend.” After that the situation should ease each day and by next Friday stations should be fully up and running.

 

Gas prices down slightly in New York City


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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While gas prices are down slightly from their 2012 highs, drivers are still paying 32 cents more per gallon than at this time a year ago.

The average price for a gallon of gas in the city is $4.19, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, four cents lower than two weeks ago.

Over the past month the cost of gas is up 7 cents.

Last year, city drivers were paying $3.87 per gallon.  Prices passed the $4 in mid-August and have remained there since.

Nationally, the average has begun to fall. A gallon of gas nationally is $3.78, four cents lower than a month ago.

 

Gas prices near 2012 highs


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Gas prices continue their two month climb in New York City and are approaching 2012 highs.

The average price for a gallon of gas in the city has risen to $4.23, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, 8 cents higher than a week ago.

Over the past month the cost of gas has jumped 17 cents.

Since July, the cost of a gallon of gas has steadily increased and is now near the 2012 high. Prices at the pump peaked in April at $4.24.

Last year, city drivers were paying under $4 per gallon.

Nationally, the average also continues to rise. A gallon of gas nationally is $3.86, 14 cents higher than a month ago.

 

Gas prices rise for 8th consecutive week


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Prices at the pump continue to trend upward, as costs rose for the eighth consecutive week.

The average price for a gallon of gas in the city has risen to $4.08, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

Over the past month the cost of gas has jumped 17 cents.

For much of the year, drivers were paying less for gas than a year ago. But as prices have steadily risen, the cost has zoomed past what New Yorkers were paying last year when gas was $3.97 per gallon.

Nationally, the average also continues to rise. A gallon of gas nationally is $3.75, 26 cents higher than a month ago.

 

Gas prices surge past $4


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Prices at the pump have surged past $4 in New York City for the first time since May.

The average price for a gallon of gas in the city has risen to $4.03, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, seven cents higher than a week ago.

Over the past month the cost of gas has jumped 26 cents. Gas prices fell below $4 at the end of May and had remained there for two and a half months.

Nationally, the average is rising too. A gallon of gas nationally is $3.70, 31 cents higher than a month ago.

 

City gas prices near $4


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Gas prices throughout New York City are approaching $4 for the first time since May.

The average New York City price at the pump has risen to $3.96, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, six cents higher than a week ago.

Gas prices fell below $4 at the end of May and have remained there ever since, but over the past month the cost has jumped 23 cents.

New Yorkers are still paying less than they were last year when residents were dishing out $4.10 for a gallon of gas.

Nationally, the average is rising too. A gallon of gas across the country averages $3.62, 13 cents higher than a week ago.

 

Gas prices hold steady in New York City


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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Gas prices have held steady over the past week as they continue their climb back toward $4.

The average New York City price at the pump has risen to $3.90, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, just one cent higher than a week ago.

Fuel has remained below $4 since the end of May. Over the past month the cost of gas has jumped 17 cents.

New Yorkers are still paying less than they were last year when residents were paying $4.11 for a gallon of gas.

Nationally, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $3.49, two cents higher than a week ago.

 

Gas prices speed toward $4


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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New York City gas prices continue to speed toward the $4 mark three weeks after reaching a 2012 low.

The average New York City price at the pump has risen to $3.89, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, eight cents higher than a week ago.

The cost of gas has jumped 14 cents over the past two weeks. Fuel has remained below $4 since the end of May.

New Yorkers are still paying less than they were last year when residents were paying $4.08 for a gallon of gas.

Nationally, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $3.47, seven cents higher than a week ago.

 

Gas prices begin to climb


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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After reaching 2012 lows, gas prices have ticked up each of the last two weeks.

The average New York City price at the pump has risen to $3.81, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, six cents higher than a week ago.

New Yorkers are paying the same amount to fill up as they were a month ago, but the prices are headed in opposite direction. Last month gas was in the midst of a nearly three month decline.

At this time last year New Yorkers were paying $4.05 for a gallon of gas.

Nationally, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $3.40, 2 cents higher than a week ago.

 

Gas prices increase for first time in more than 2 months


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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For the first time in nearly three months, gas prices in the city have increased.

The average New York City price at the pump has risen to $3.75, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, three cents higher than a week ago.

Last week, gas had fallen to its lowest cost since January.

Over the past month, prices are still down 12 cents.

At this time last year New Yorkers were paying $3.98 for a gallon of gas.

Nationally, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $3.38, a five cent increase over a month ago.

 

Gas prices at lowest point since January


| brennison@queenscourier.com

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As summer driving season kicks into full gear, gas prices continue to roll back.

The average New York City price at the pump has fallen to $3.72, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, its lowest point since January.

Over the past week, the cost of gas has fallen three cents in the city and has dropped 23 cents over the past month.

Many gas stations around the borough come in well below the city average — with some price below $3.50 per gallon.

At this time last year New Yorkers were paying $3.98 for a gallon of gas.

Nationally, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $3.33, 27 cents lower than a month ago.

 

Gas prices near 2012 lows


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Gas Prices

After approaching all-time highs in April, gas prices are nearing their lowest prices of 2012.

The average New York City gas price has fallen for the past two and a half months and settled at $3.75, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

Over the past week, the cost of gas has fallen five cents in the city and has dropped 25 cents over the past month.

Many gas stations around the borough come in well below the city average — with some prices below $3.50 per gallon.

At this time last year New Yorkers were paying $4.02 for a gallon of gas.

Nationally, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $3.41, 24 cents lower than a month ago.