The next time a Gulf Coast hurricane cuts down the flow of fuel to North Carolina, our governor might have new powers to decide who gets precious gas -- and who doesn’t.
The Senate approved and sent to the House today a bill authorizing the governor to ration fuel supplies in times of disasters and other emergencies when markets are disrupted.
The measure would expand on the state’s power to combat gasoline price gouging in similar situations. Last September, Hurricane Ike closed some refineries and pinched the pipeline flow of gasoline to North Carolina, causing prolonged shortages in several cities. Several retailers were fined for gouging after they sold regular gas for as much as $5.49 a gallon.
Gov. Bev Perdue has not decided whether she wants new power to ration fuel supplies.
"Gov. Perdue wants to make sure North Carolina citizens can get the fuel they need during a time of crisis," said Chrissy Pearson, her press secretary. "She is reviewing this legislation as it continues through the legislative process."