As Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S. Northeast, refineries and harbors were shut down, effectively disrupting nearly all fuel deliveries to the area. As a result gasoline stations have run out of petroleum and shut down, and those that remain open see customers lining up for hours to get to the pump.

According to the AAA Monday, only 60-65 percent of fuel stations were open in New York, 55-60 percent in New Jersey, and just 50-55 percent in Long Island.

A few enterprising individuals have decided to take advantage of this lack of gasoline to sell fuel from other states, or from private stores, in advertisements on sites such as Craigslist at a marked up price. The New York attorney general’s office is currently looking into whether gasoline sold at as much as $8 a gallon is legal; the average prices around the city are $4.10 a gallon.

Mark Skidmore, an economics professor at Michigan State University, does not believe that there is anything wrong. He explained to Bloomberg News, “a lot of times in the wake of a disaster, people are trying to find resources and the normal networks are blocked. So they find creative ways to get it in, but it’s more expensive. They are providing a service in some sense.”

One ad on Craigslist offered gas at $8 for delivery to Brooklyn or Staten Island, according to Bloomberg. The man who posted the advert said he had purchased about 100 gallons in Connecticut and already sold nearly 60.

Other posts on Craigslist touting “gas delivered to you right now”  had been flagged for removal Wednesday.

—James Burgess

This post originally appeared at and was republished with permission.


  1. John Perry
    November 12, 2012, 9:21 am

    The US claims to be in favor of capitalism, but when the country most needs entrepreneurs to step in and deliver creative solutions to consumer’s needs, the government stomps on the problem-solvers. Maybe this is really about protecting big corporations’ turf from unwelcome competition. This is what free enterprise looks like (at least in the U.S.)

  2. Robert Grimshaw
    November 11, 2012, 3:25 pm

    Why anyone needs to look up whether selling gas at twice the retail price is an idiot. The laws against profiteering and black marketing have never been repealed. Once the area was declared a disaster zone, those along with looting are in effect. Same as wartime. The authorities need a swift kick in the pants to get to work or criminals will be gouging the survivors and gangs will end up battlling for thier ” share “.