Local News

Bill would let governor ration gasoline

Posted May 12, 2009 7:08 p.m. EDT

— Recalling the gas lines that panicked drivers last fall after Hurricane Ike disrupted fuel supplies along the East Coast, state lawmakers are considering a proposal that allow the governor to ration gas in similar situations.

Senate Bill 811 also would allow the governor to freeze fuel prices in the event of an emergency or market disruption. The Council of State would have to approve a price freeze to make it effective.

"This could be used to help local governments get fuel in tight market conditions for emergency purposes like fire trucks (and) police cars," said Sen. Floyd McKissick, D-Durham.

Last September, Ike knocked out some refineries on the Texas coast, causing gas shortages and a price spike across the Southeast. Some area gas stations wrapped their pump handles in plastic bags and put up notices that they were out of gas, and long lines formed at other stations.