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New Jersey, New York residents report hours-long lines, dry pumps

In theory, industry analysts say there's no reason that victims of Hurricane Sandy's devastating path should face gas shortages or long lines at the pump. In reality, many gas stations are shuttered. And at ones that are open, customers face lines that are hours and miles long.

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Back in 1967, the number of gas stations in the UK hit a record high at 39,958. Flash forward to 2008 and the total had dwindled down to just 9,263. By 2009, despite the fact that the number of registered vehicles had soared past 34 million, total operational gas stations plummeted to a record low of 9,013. In that same year, 179 independent gas stations called it quits and big names like BP, Texaco and Total closed the doors of 64 stations as well.

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With gas prices as high as they are, it might seem hard to believe that some gas companies aren't profitable, but apparently Exxon Mobil isn't doing as well as they might wish. The company just announced that it will be selling off its gas stations for financial reasons. We suspect that the industry keeps itself shrouded in mystery to protect its profit at times, but Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, to name a few, have all stated that certain nebulous factors in the supply, demand and re

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In Dallas, a businessman has spent half a million dollars to install nine pumps that dispense E85, E10, and biodiesel. The catch: the businessman is a HUMMER dealer, and the pumps are next to his dealership. The station is called Classic Clean Fuels, and it is intended to make a statement for next year's H2 and H2 SUT, which will be the first production models to be Flex-fuel capable.

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Dutch inventors might have ushered in the return of the full-service station. Yet like so many other things being taken out of the hands of flesh and blood people, the new full-service could be an all-robot affair. The robot -- called the Tankpitstop robot -- is affixed to the bowser, and if it recognizes the make and model of car, and your gas cap doesn't need a key, it will open everything up and start pumping.

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