While the ongoing gas shortage in post-Sandy New York and New Jersey shows no signs of ending anytime soon, the black market for precious fuel is thriving.
For as much as $25 a gallon, sellers are peddling gas by the tank on Craigslist, with some going as far as to offer to hand deliver their goods –– for a price.
Here's just one example:
"Need gas ? [sic] I'm an upstate New York contractor bringing gas to the brooklynn [sic] area tonight about 10:30. I have 5 gallon containers of regular unleaded gas available for sale [$150]. If interested please call to discuss price."
This type of price gouging on gasoline is far from legal, but that clearly hasn't stopped some people. And ads on Craigslist are like bacteria multiplying in a petri dish. Flag one for removal from the site, and two more spring up right behind it.
In the meantime, government officials have stepped in to help with gas shortages in areas hit hardest by the superstorm. Some 12 million gallons of gas have been shipped to New York and New Jersey, and a plan to ration out the supplies in the latter state began on Saturday, according to CNN:
"On days that end in even numbers -- such as November 4, 6 or 8 -- gas station operators can sell gas to only those with license plates with a last digit that is even. On odd-digit days, such as November 3, only those with plate numbers ending in an odd number or those with specialty plates can get gas."
For consumers, the sooner public transportation is running at full-speed again, the better. Until then, chances are this kind of price gouging won't be going anywhere, especially with thousands of people still relying on gas-powered generators to keep warm.
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