A new bill advancing in Trenton would make it easier for New Jerseyans to find gasoline during emergencies. 

Gas Lines
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

The measure is in response to Superstorm Sandy when thousands of New Jerseyans were forced to drive throughout the state, and even into surrounding states in a desperate search for gas.

"When Sandy hit, residents were scrambling all over the state to locate places to buy fuel," said Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, the measure's sponsor. "We were driving miles to find an open gas station. The time spent in long lines and searching was, to say the least, frustrating. It was chaos."

The legislation would direct the Division of Consumer Affairs to create and maintain a database containing the names and locations of every premise in New Jersey where motor fuel is sold by a retailer. The database would be updated at least monthly and specify the following information: the types of motor fuel sold by the retail dealer and whether that dealer has a back-up generator on site.

"By creating a kind of gas station directory, we will make it easier for the State to help residents find fuel during these times of emergency and minimize the confusion that is likely to occur during future emergencies," explains Greenwald. "The energy shortage brought on by Hurricane Sandy can happen again. This bill is responsible government; a step forward in ensuring New Jersey is prepared in the future."

Greenwald's bill has been approved by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee and now heads to the Assembly Speaker who will decide when to post it for a floor vote.

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