Published January 13, 2015
Free gas came with gallons of chaos.
Thousands of fuel-starved New Yorkers were able to get much-needed gasoline from the government at no cost yesterday, but not without a high-octane fit of confusion and double talk from state and federal authorities.
The trouble-plagued giveaway began when Gov. Cuomo’s office announced in the morning that officials would try to ease the post-Sandy gas crisis by giving out free fuel to both “emergency vehicles and the general public.”
The gas was to be dispensed from trucks at five locations around the area — and throngs of desperate drivers showed up to fill their tanks.
But by the afternoon Cuomo spokesman Matt Wing rolled back the offer of free gas, announcing that fuel was intended for emergency vehicles first and foremost.
The change came after the U.S. Department of Defense — which provided the gas in coordination with the National Guard — said the gas was only for first responders.
A Cuomo administration source blamed the mixup on the military.