New Jersey

State Troopers Deployed to Jersey Gas Stations

Nerves frayed at long lines

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State troopers have been deployed at all gas stations along the NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, where dwindling gasoline supplies are causing frayed nerves as the region endures its third full day with massive power outages.

Frustration with gas supplies topped the list of issues causing tensions to boil over in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, the states hardest hit by power outages in the wake of superstorm Sandy. Residents jockeyed for fuel at the few stations still pumping, searched store shelves in vain for batteries, struggled with sporadic cell phone service and found themselves unable to buy necessities at supermarkets.

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  1. The stations are running low because customers are scared of them running low and are topping off the tanks in their cars. The problem is the free-market oriented governor has promised to punish so-called price gouging so no supplier has an incentive to bring fuel into the state, stations have no incentive to leave their families and stay open (and risk being jailed) when the can sell their fuel for the same price later.
    Listen to several econ talk podcasts on the subject, and see how entrepreneurs who try to get goods into disaster areas are treated.

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