U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today applauded the President's decision to have the U.S Department of Energy loan the U.S. Department of Defense ultra-low sulfur diesel from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve. The reserves, housed in Groton, Connecticut, will be released as early as tomorrow.
"We need to get fuel flowing into New Jersey, and this unprecedented release of federal oil reserves is an important step toward powering emergency equipment in New Jersey. The gas shortage and power outages at gas stations are holding our state back from a full recovery. I will continue working to do everything possible to get our first responders and all New Jerseyans moving again," said Senator Lautenberg.
"Our fuel supply and distribution system has taken a big hit and this is a step in the right direction to help responders get the fuel they need," said Menendez. "I hope this, combined with environmental and distribution regulation waivers and restored power, will soon get our fuel situation back to normal."
The fuel will be distributed to state, local, and federal first responders in New Jersey and New York. It will provide an additional supply of fuel to enable the emergency response and recovery effort. Due to temporary waivers from the Environmental Protection Agency, this fuel can be used to power emergency equipment, electrical generators, water pumps, and vehicles.
The emergency reserve of heating oil was created by President Clinton as a component of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the Northeast. The reserve was created to provide a buffer to compensate for interruptions in home heating oil supply during severe winter weather.
The reserve holds 42 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel, located at terminals in Groton, Conn. and Revere, Mass. This is the first time fuel has been released from the reserve.