NYC Rations Fuel, Jersey Makes 'Dyed Diesel' Legal In Sandy Aftermath

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New York City and Long Island today instituted temporary fuel rationing, with drivers only allowed to buy gasoline on alternate days.

Starting at 6 am tomorrow, vehicles with odd numbers on their license plates can buy fuel on odd-numbered days; even numbers can buy on even-numbered days.

The two counties on Long Island, Suffolk and Nassau, will start the same program tomorrow at 5 pm.

The move follows similar rules in New Jersey, where drivers are still waiting in long lines to fuel their cars in many parts of the state.

The rationing was announced today by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, and will remain in effect "until further notice"--potentially for weeks.

In the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, several fuel distribution terminals remain out of service, and refinery capacity is significantly down as well.

Separately, New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced today that the state would make it legal to use "dyed diesel" fuel in roadgoing vehicles until November 20.

The state also made it temporarily legal for unlicensed fuel vendors to buy from out-of-state suppliers through November 14, extending an exemption that expired yesterday.

The "dyed diesel" is intended only for off-road usage, and hence is not subject to the state's motor fuel tax of 13.5 cents per gallon.

It has dye added to distinguish it so it's possible, in theory, to ascertain whether untaxed fuel is being used in vehicles being operated on state roads.

Merchants who sell dyed diesel for use in roadgoing vehicles, however, must collect and report the fuel tax on the appropriate state forms.

Both measures temporarily increase the supply of fuel available to New Jersey's drivers.

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