September 15, 2017


Washington, DC – With gas prices soaring across New England due to recent hurricanes, Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced legislation to create in law a Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve.  Along with fifteen of their northeastern colleagues, the lawmakers wrote the bill in response to the Trump Administration’s proposal to eliminate the Reserve that is critical to ensuring that the region is protected from a disruption in the supply of gasoline due to a natural or manmade disaster.
“After every natural disaster, once rescue and recovery efforts have ended, our country and our government not only reflect on the strength of our response, but study our shortcomings and promise never to repeat them,” said Congressman Kennedy. “Once the winds and rains of Sandy subsided, a shortage of gasoline hampered recovery efforts and compounded the suffering of our neighbors throughout the Northeast. If this gasoline reserve is eliminated for political reasons, it will leave our constituents vulnerable and our local governments unprepared when the unexpected arrives again.”
“Maybe being whisked to Bedminster by federal vehicles and tax dollars might have caused President Trump to forget the devastation that Sandy brought to New Jersey and the northeastern United States, but we and our constituents have not,” said Congressman Pallone, Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “Access to gasoline was severely limited in the aftermath of the storm, causing major problems in the region impacting homeowners, businesses and emergency personnel.  We learned hard lessons from this experience and put in place a plan to make the region more resilient when another storm strikes.”
The legislation:
  • Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) to create a Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve (NGSR) of one million gallons as part of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 
  • Initially covers the states of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire.
  • Provides the Secretary of Energy with authority to add additional, contiguous states to be covered by the reserve. 
  • Permits the Secretary to use the reserve upon a finding by the President that a severe energy supply interruption exists or is likely to exist in the region within the next 30 days. 
  • Requires the Secretary to sell the gasoline at fair market value with no loss of revenue to the United States.  
  • Directs the Secretary to transmit to the President and Congress a plan within 60 days of enactment describing the acquisition of storage and related facilities for the NGSR.
  • Authorizes the Secretary to acquire, store, and transport refined petroleum products acquired by either purchase or exchange.
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For Immediate Release:
September 15, 2017
Emily Kaufman (617) 332-3333
Dan Black (202) 225-5931

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