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NACS VP Speaks Out Against Gas Station Generator Requirement

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- In the wake of Superstorm Sandy and hour-long waits for gas, some think it is best to require all gas stations to carry a generator on site.

Not so fast, said John Eichberger, vice president of NACS, the Association for Fuel & Retailing. Eichberger appeared on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report" recently to say generators are simply too expensive and can cost up to $40,000 to run a pump.

"That's a big investment when you don't know how often you need it," Eichberger said during the television show. "You might not need it again for another 15 to 20 years, so we need to be very cautious about how we go about mandating things."

Eight days after the storm, many gas stations have remained closed in the New York City area. Other gas stations have placed "No Gas" signs at the pump and have only kept open their convenience stores.

Thousands in New York, New Jersey and surrounding areas still remain without power. That includes gas stations. However, once the power returns, some stations can immediately begin pumping gas, Eichberger noted.

"Provided they have gas in the ground and provided they have no other damage from the storm, they should be able to start pumping immediately," NACS' vice president stated on the TV show. "The challenge becomes we had a run on fuel suppliers before the storm hit. Those stations that have not been able to resupply, once they get power, they are likely going to have lower than normal inventories. It takes a while to get inventory back to those stores."

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