Jenny Scarborough
Ocracoke Station
Ocracoke Station

One or two National Park Service vehicles on Ocracoke fill their tanks every day.

In the summer, at least three or four fill up daily, said Supervisory District Ranger Kenny Ballance.

"We purchase a tremendous amount of gas," said Kenny.

The Ocracoke district has four maintenance vehicles, plus weed eaters and lawn mowers. There are two biotech vehicles that cruise the beach looking for turtle and bird nests; an interpretive vehicle that shuttles rangers to the pony pens and summer programs; a fee vehicle for trips to the campground; and four law enforcement vehicles.

The vehicles are no longer filling up at Ocracoke Station. Station manager Laurie Death said "it cost us money to do it," and said the station was paying about 25 cents for every four gallons the NPS pumped. The credit card rangers use is paid off monthly, and has a higher merchant fee than other cards, said Laurie.

The pumps at the Anchorage docks
The pumps at the Anchorage docks

Laurie emphasized that stopping sales to NPS was "not a political decision. We want them back. We are more than willing to take them if they can find another way to pay."

Park vehicles have been fillling up at the Anchorage Marina for the past several weeks, and in all likelihood will continue to do so in the future, said Kenny. Anchorage owner Bill Gilbert was willing to work with the district, and is getting a special credit card machine to process the government issued card.

The price per gallon is similar at both businesses.

The Anchorage pump for vehicles is next to the fish cleaning bench, and cars park on the boat ramp while they are filling up. Kenny recognizes this may be "a little inconvenient in the summer," but said his staff are satisfied with the new arrangement.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore has not looked into using vehicles powered by sources other than fossil fuels.

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