East coast has witnessed a major shortage of fuel because of consumers’ panic buying after the cyberattack on the Colonial pipeline last week; forcing it to be temporarily shut down.
The 5,500 miles long pipeline system is the backbone of gas transportation in the East Coast as well as the largest pipeline of the nation. It transports more than 100 million gallons of diesel, jet fuel, gasoline and heating oil in a day; that makes it about 45% of the total fuel consumption between the gulf coastal area and New York metro.
The colonial pipeline shutdown resulted in a surge in the price of gasoline across America. GasBuddy, a tech company behind many apps and websites that work on fuel prices and covers the data of more than 140,000 gas stations; has predicted that the gas prices can shoot to a staggering $3 per gallon in the coming week. This is the highest projected fuel price since 2014.
According to the reports, the east coast states witnessed a 32.5% increase in fuel demand on Monday after the Russian cyber group Darkside attacked the colonial gas pipeline resulting in a temporary shutdown.
The states of North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina have observed a sudden surge in the demand of gas because of the citizens purchasing fuel out of sheer panic.
Gas stations have seen a crunch after the collapse of the colonial pipeline due to the cyber-attack. Long queues for fuel were seen outside gas stations before they went out of service.
The Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency across the state, when more than 1000 gas stations were left without fuel. He directed the Florida National Guard to take necessary measures in assisting the public by working together with local and federal officials.
Similarly, North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper also declared a state of emergency as North Carolina has been severely affected due to the pipeline shutting down. Cooper has suspended the motor vehicle fuel rules and regulations in order to make sure that the fuel is available to the public across the state.
On the other hand, Governor Brian P. Kemp of Georgia issued an executive order of suspension of gas tax in Georgia in order to curb the rising prices of gasoline due to this incident.
Federal and local officials are urging people not to buy gasoline out of panic as this will result in severe shortage of gas. Tiffany Wright, spokesperson of AAA stated that she is surprised to see a shortage as the supply was ample before the shutdown of the pipeline. She further explained that the main reason behind this shortage of gasoline is panic buying. Consumers need to stop over-consuming and at times hoarding the fuel as it is not required. The pipeline has been reinstated and the fuel transportation has been resumed as per routine.