PATERSON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. today submitted the following letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator W. Craig Fugate requesting federal assistance with the fuel crisis in New Jersey in the wake of Superstorm Sandy:
November 1, 2012
Dear Administrator Fugate:
I am concerned about the growing problem of gasoline shortages in New Jersey, in the wake of the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. There are reports of miles-long lines at the few gas stations that have power, a situation compounded by the severely disrupted public transportation system in the region.
Many residents are using their vehicles to help reach out to loves ones in these trying times, or to try to normalize their lives. Even more concerning, there are many important facilities, including fire and police stations, emergency response headquarters, hospitals and facilities that serve our most needed citizens, that use gasoline and diesel fuel to run their generators. We have been informed that it may take many more days to rebuild the electrical grid and reestablish power. In the meantime, many of these facilities are in dire need of fuel to keep serving the residents of New Jersey.
I understand that there are many competing priorities as a result of the devastation incurred from Hurricane Sandy, one of which is opening up the Port of New York and New Jersey, which will allow for further distribution of gasoline to the region. However, it is clear that the the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Energy must assist New Jersey in coordinating with other states and localities to bring gasoline to areas most in need.
Thus far, the Federal and State response to this tragic storm have helped New Jersey start on the road to rebuilding our state. However, the availability of gasoline remains a roadblock to our immediate recovery. As President Obama made clear upon his visit to New Jersey yesterday, it is imperative that we work together to solve problems in these trying times. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance.
Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Member of Congress