Letter to the Editor: Rockland's 10-Gallon Rule

In response to the Rockland County's decision to limit gasoline sales to 10 gallons per person


Editor's Note: The following letter to the editor is written by Bob Taschler of Bergen County. He adds that although he lives in Bergen County, he holds no grudge to anyone in New York who is seeking to provide for their family and their own safety. His letter is in response to the Rockland County's decision to limit gasoline sales to 10 gallons per person.

In an utterly "brilliant" move, the Rockland County Executive has created yet another reason for New York residents to come to Bergen County to buy "our" gas out from under us. Isn't it bad enough that New York taxes them too much thereby driving them to come to NJ to sop up what little gas we have available for ourselves?

Essentially the Rockland County Executive is limiting supply and every 1st year economics student knows that when you limit supply you create shortages, not solve them. This will force the demand in New York to come to be satisfied in New Jersey. Forcing people to do things not in their own best interest never turns out well. 

If you check the lines at the stations in Mahwah on Route 17, you will see about half of the cars are from New York State. What if NJ restricted gasoline sales in NJ to NJ residents only ... or worse, each driver had to show license and reg to show proof of residency in Bergen County, or we added an out of state driver tax on gasoline sales "to make things fair". Or even worse, set up a barricade on the border and not allow any NY drivers to enter our state! What non-sense. 

Of course none of this type of "law-making" would do anything to alleviate the problem. What would alleviate the problem? Increase the supply of gasoline. How?  Allow retailers and wholesalers to raise their prices which would create an inducement for the industry to rush gasoline to NJ and to buy or rent electrical generators so more stations can open up.

If prices were to jump just an extra $1 per gallon wholesalers from Kentucky, Tennesee, South Carolina, Ohio, etc. would gladly drive their trucks to NJ for an extra $10,000 per load. Yes the price spike would annoy some, but with more stations opened and more gasoline flooding into the area demand will be satisfied quickly and the market would soon be glutted with supply and the price spike would drop very quickly thereafter. The lines would disappear and the home generators would be running full time until the work crews can get the lines and transformers replaced. 

By the way, I saw an Exxon station with a very short line. He was selling gas at 40 cents more per gallon than the station with a 2 hour line down the block. Let's do the math. Buy 20 gallons and pay an extra $8 and get done in 10 minutes or waste 2 hours plus the gas burned up while online and save $8. That is $4 an hour which is less than minimum wage for crying out loud. I bought my gas there and got back home to use the time making repairs and cleaning up instead of being frustrated. The free markets solve economic problems best if only government would just get out of the way.

Bob Taschler of Bergen County

Steve November 05, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Cant help to agree on this one. Not totally about the NY vs NJ but the fact is that now with the 10 gallon rule the same vehicle will wait on 3 lines. Odd/even cuts the line in half immediatly. Next step is to limit the gas cans..... before we have an incident.
Scotty November 05, 2012 at 03:48 PM
And if it was the other way around and Rockland had no limit but NJ did...I'm sure you would have the same feeling about limits and gas allotments ( very sarcastic if you didn't get it ).
Joanne McCue November 05, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I've seen plenty of NJ plates in line at Rockland stations due to the odd/even rationing. We're neighbors and we should be helping each other not just whining and complaining.
Bernie November 05, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Wel for the most part he is right, He did forget to check the Malls were most of the cars are from NY also.
tom kelty November 05, 2012 at 04:49 PM
YEAYYYYYYYyyyyyyy!! I think it is the lesson of supply and demand.... the pricess should as with the regular economy follow suit. If I am willing to pay more and wait in a shorter line so be it, you dont like that go wait on line and get the better price.
tom kelty November 05, 2012 at 04:50 PM
dont forget...... ROMNEY tomorrow! get out and show you want America the land of the FREE and home of the BRAVE! Get respect for America again!
Am I allowed to vote for Abe Lincoln????as a write in ballot? at least then I totally understand why we wont fufill promises!!!!and I didnt have to listen to him campaigning!!!!!
bob you have a valid point based on the lines you have to wait on..but supply and demand could be solved by the differences in the price of gas...perhaps a station could have a market priced pump price with no waiting!!!that would give a customer a choice.and remember if it wasnt for the NY customers many malls on the borders of NY would do less in sales as many people go to NJ to save on the sales tax...
mmmmmmm just like what the WALL STREETERS have done to the amercian people make hugeprofits over adverse times...so not a new concept the marketprice gas pump...and it does give customers a choice
Anthony November 05, 2012 at 05:17 PM
To clarify- can New Yorkers buy gas in NJ if they're going to check on their beach houses at the shore??? Is that ok with the writer? Grow up man, you had to wait on a line for less than a weeks time. Most stations in my area are now running with few, if any, delay. I'm glad you have time to complain about your precious Jersey gas while bodies are still being found. Thanks for coming together for the greater good.
Allison November 05, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Absolutely, which is what my comment was about. 1/2 the people on line were from NJ, hence the reason for the rationing,
J H November 05, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I disagree completely. The odd/even rule was WAY too confusing for some people. The 10 gallon limit almost immediately reduced wait times, lines were flowing nicely, etc. I completely respect Christie for his actions in NJ in this disaster, but this odd/even thing was a total flop. I am utterly disgusted with most Rockland politicians, and have been for a long time, but this is one thing they did in an intelligent, simple way.
DLS November 05, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Bob, gas needs to be available to all, regardless of what license plate one has on their vehicle. While it's easy to say that Rocklanders are coming over to Bergen County for gas, it's not "your gas" our "our gas" so to speak. There could be folks that are traveling back home to Buffalo or beyond. Whatever the cause for the long lines and then magically around the corner you can get gas....there is a panic that has set in and everyone is just freaking out. Let's remember that we all are in this together and just take a step back and chill.....
PR MOM November 05, 2012 at 06:09 PM
What we dont need now is division among the people...stop the nonsense...it's not the state of NJ's gas...it's a commodity like any other.
Robert Prol November 05, 2012 at 08:13 PM
You spelled the name of the candidate who wants America free incorrectly. It's J-O-H-N-S-O-N. Gary Johnson is the only candidate who understands that 90% of our problems would be solved if the government followed the Constitution. And Nyack Resident - the federal agencies are there to protect the government. Each of us are responsible for ourselves, and should look out for each other.
Robert Prol November 05, 2012 at 08:15 PM
It's amazing how many people didn't read this excellent editorial. It has nothing to do with NJ v. NY. It's about the inept Rockland County government's attempt to make life fair, and in the process they just spread out the pain. PR MOM, DLS, and you others who haven't read this, try to read it before commenting.
CR November 06, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Right. If your license plate ends in an even number you get gas on even numbered days and if your license plate ends in an odd number (or if you have an all-letter vanity plate) you get gas on an odd day. That's really confusing. You must think people are reeeaallly dumb, huh?
J H November 06, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Sadly, yes, many people are REALLY dumb. If you watched any line being policed for more than a few minutes, you would have seen it. Rockland's approach was simpler, more fair, and instantly reduced the lines - instantly. 10 gallons of gas is enough for most people to get through several days, and for those on generators to get through at least 24 hours. Cutting people out of the lines, like NJ did, is great - except when you get people with a huge SUV plus 5 or 6 gas cans; then the line takes just as long to move. The difference in the two approaches was crystal clear just from observing gas stations in both states on my commute.
Kerry Ohare November 06, 2012 at 11:40 AM
All i know is the first few days of the storm more Jersey plates on line in ny. Before the storm i always bought in Jersey for the price. This week i had to suffer with 4.39 a gsllon. The lines were much Shorter with the rule. You could have gotten back on for 10 more.
elizabeth November 06, 2012 at 11:47 AM
I wish Al Gore was president. He understands the irony in SUV driving people complaining about gas supply. Afterall, their emissions is one of the main causes of global warming, whose storms are causing the shortages!
too bad we cant elect 'Ostrichs" at least then we wouldnt always have to look at their bewildered looks every time a taxpayers asks a question!!!!!!!as they would have their heads in the dirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ted stephens November 09, 2012 at 11:33 AM
There are no lines up here at all...place I get it says no problems with supply...not sure why this is even a story.
Harry One November 11, 2012 at 09:04 PM
ask obuma where are the moble homes Bush sent
Harry One November 11, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Food will be odd even by June exceptfor those with food stamps
Harry One November 11, 2012 at 09:10 PM
You got what you voted for no jobs no gas no food no HOPE just change


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