As hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the US, refineries and harbours were shut down, effectively disrupting nearly all fuel deliveries to the area. As a result gasoline stations have run out of petroleum and shut down, and those that remain open see customers queuing for hours to get to the pump.
According to the AAA only 60-65 percent of fuel stations are open in New York, 55-60 percent in New Jersey, and just 50-55 percent in Long Island.
A few enterprising individuals have decided to take advantage of this lack of gasoline to sell fuel from other states in private advertisements on sites such as Craigslist at a marked up price. The New York attorney general’s office is currently looking into whether gasoline sold at as much as $8 a gallon is legal; the average prices around the city are $4.10 a gallon.
Related Article: The Reasons Behind California's High Gas Prices
Mark Skidmore, an economics professor at Michigan State University, does not believe that there is anything wrong. He explained to Bloomberg News that, “a lot of times in the wake of a disaster, people are trying to find resources and the normal networks are blocked. So they find creative ways to get it in, but it’s more expensive. They are providing a service in some sense.”
One advert on Craigslist offered gas at $8 for delivery to Brooklyn or Staten Island. The man who posted the advert said he had purchased about 100 gallons in Connecticut and already sold nearly 60.
Another man with a similar advert on Craigslist said he had bought about 80 gallons from a friend upstate and was delivering the fuel to Long Island to sell for $7.50 a gallon.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com