Over the weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a press release announcing that thousands of gallons of gas were en route to New York and limited amounts would be available to residents free of charge. The free fuel would be delivered in several Department of Defense tanker trucks that were to be parked at various locations throughout the city.
That, it turns out, was bullshit.
We got the press release on Saturday morning. It was then posted on the governor’s website, and his Facebook page. The gas giveaway was reported in various local and national media outlets — including Fox News. It was even announced by borough presidents.
But when people showed up to cash in on the free fuel — in some cases waiting in lines for hours — the free gas never arrived.
The press release was then mysteriously removed from the governor’s website and his Facebook page — but no explanation was offered. The press release, however, was not removed from our inbox — and you can read it in its entirety below.
The Riverdale Press reported the gas giveaway on Saturday. When the publication showed up at the Bronx Armory on Saturday afternoon to see how it was going, reporters found a huge line of people holding gas cans. What they didn’t find was any gas.
From the Riverdale Press:
The line of cars stretched from the
Armory down Jerome Avenue, past Lehman College on Bedford Park Boulevard
West and onto Goulden Avenue by the Jerome Park Reservoir. And then at 5
p.m., police officers told those waiting to go home.
There was no formal announcement that gas
was not going to arrive and no information was provided to residents
about why they waited in vain or when they could get gas.
According to a spokesman for Bronx
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who met with FEMA on Monday afternoon,
the fuel was never intended to go to regular people, only to emergency
That was also true in other boroughs, but it is unclear whether Bronx emergency vehicles ever got gas they needed.
Cuomo’s office didn’t immediately respond to our request for an explanation of where this mystery gas ended up. But we know where it didn’t end up: in your gas tank.
See the governor’s initial — now-absent from his website — press release about the free gas giveaway below.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that temporary fuel trucks will be deployed in key locations in New York City and Long Island in order to help provide gas to emergency vehicles and the general public. The trucks are provided by the U.S. Department of Defense at the direction of President Obama and are being deployed in coordination with the New York National Guard at the direction of the Governor. The 5,000 gallon trucks will be deployed throughout the morning and there are an additional 150,000 gallons of fuel available to restock the trucks throughout the day. There is a 10 gallon limit per vehicle. Cars can fill up directly off of the truck.
The trucks will be sent to the following locations:
93-05 160th St.
Jamaica, NY 11433
10 West 195th St.
Bronx, NY 10468
1579 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Staten Island/Elizabeth Armory
321 Manor Road
Staten Island, NY 10314
63 Babylon Turnpike
Freeport, NY 11520
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 9, 2012