Home » Panic Buying Is Causing Fuel Shortages Along The Colonial Pipeline Route

Panic Buying Is Causing Fuel Shortages Along The Colonial Pipeline Route

by admin

Because the Colonial Pipeline is such an important supply line for the southeast and the East Coast, a major disruption can quickly lead to shortages in fuel supplies across these regions. We have seen this in the past when the pipeline had to be down for more than a few days.

Hence, these regions braced for the worst following last Friday’s ransomware attack by the professional hacker group called Darkside. The Colonial Pipeline was taken down in response to the attack, and as of today the pipeline remains offline. Colonial Pipeline Company has said that it hopes to restore most operations by the end of the week.

But a weeklong outage on this pipeline is enough to spark regional shortages. Bloomberg reported that Colonial Pipeline Chief Executive Officer Joseph Blount warned state officials on Monday that supply shortages could occur before pipeline service is restored.

In any case, the fear of shortages is often enough to create actual shortages, and this is playing out across the pipeline’s route.

A friend of mine in Georgia reported to me that on Monday local prices had spiked by a nickel a gallon. The 16 pumps at his local Sam’s club had lines that were eight cars deep when he arrived, and 12 cars deep when he left. He also relayed that his friends and family in northern Georgia reported that fueling stations are no longer taking credit or cards of any kind; that it’s primarily cash only on prepay.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed an executive order suspending Georgia’s gasoline tax through Saturday, in order to help mitigate the price spikes. But this move is likely to exacerbate the problem. The price spikes are the mechanism that discourages gasoline hoarding and helps stretch the remaining supplies.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order on Monday declaring a state of emergency in the state. The order temporarily suspends motor vehicle fuel regulations to help mitigate against fuel supply shortages.

Fuel outages are being reported in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. If you are wondering whether your area may be impacted by the outage, the Energy Information Administration released a map showing the major locations serviced by the pipeline.

One tool for those worried about fuel supplies is Gas Buddy’s Gasoline Availability Tracker. A quick check of major cities along the pipeline’s route indicated plenty of gasoline available, even though some stations are reporting shortages.

The hacking group behind the outage is clearly anticipating some repercussions from this high-profile incident, as they released a pseudo apology, writing in part “our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society.”

This hack did create problems for society, though, and it greatly increased the visibility of the vulnerability of our critical infrastructure. Hopefully this will lead to actions that make our infrastructure more secure, and the jobs of these hackers much more difficult.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Comment