U.S. gas stations report shortages as Colonial pipeline shutdown continues – National – fr

U.S. gas stations report shortages as Colonial pipeline shutdown continues – National – fr

More than 1,000 gas stations in the Southeastern United States have reported fuel starvation, mainly due to what analysts see as an unwarranted panic buy among drivers as a major pipeline shutdown by a gang of hackers entered its fifth day on Tuesday.

Government officials acted swiftly to override safety and environmental rules to speed up the delivery of fuel by truck, boat or train to motorists and airports, even as they sought to assure the public that it there was no need to be alarmed.

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The Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, supplying about 45% of what is consumed on the East Coast, was hit on Friday by a cyber attack by hackers who block computer systems and demand ransom for them. release. The attack raised concerns, once again, about the vulnerability of the country’s critical infrastructure.

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Much of the pipeline resumed operations manually late Monday, and Colonial plans to restart most of its operations by the end of the week, US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said.

Motorists may still feel a squeeze as it takes a few days to speed up operations, but she said there was no reason to stockpile gasoline.

“We know we have gasoline; we just have to get them to the right places, ”she said.

S & P’s oil price information service estimated the number of gas stations facing shortages at more than 1,000.

“A lot of it is because they sell three or four times as much gasoline as they normally sell on a given day, because people are panicking,” said Tom Kloza, analyst at S&P. “It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

The pipeline connects the Texas Gulf Coast to the New York metro area. The states most dependent on the pipeline are Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas, Kloza said.

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In Virginia, 7.7% of the state’s nearly 3,900 gas stations reported running out of fuel on Tuesday, according to Gasbuddy.com, which tracks the offer. In North Carolina, 8.5% of nearly 5,400 stations were out of service, the company said.

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There were scattered reports of higher gasoline prices, but prices were going up even before the pipeline incident as the busy summer driving season approached. Nevertheless, Granholm warned gas station owners: “We will have no tolerance for price gouging.”

To alleviate the brief shortages, the White House is considering temporarily waiving a law that states that ships delivering goods between US ports must be built and manned by Americans.

The Department of Transportation is also relaxing some labor requirements and using railways to deliver fuel inland. And the Environmental Protection Agency has lifted some fuel quality requirements as a matter of urgency.

“We are looking at all the options we have within the federal government and all federal agencies,” said Granholm.

In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp suspended state fuel taxes until Saturday. Georgia levies a gasoline tax of 28.7 cents per gallon and a diesel tax of 32.2 cents per gallon.

“This will probably help level the price at the pump for a little while,” Kemp said.

However, he urged people not to accumulate gasoline, saying he expects the situation to be resolved soon.

“You don’t have to go out and fill every 5 gallon canister you have,” the governor said.

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Gas stations scattered around the Atlanta subway ran out of fuel Monday and Tuesday. In Georgia, nearly 6% of some 6,400 stations were out of fuel, Gasbuddy.com said.

In Florida, drivers in some areas faced long queues and 3 percent of gas stations were short.

State Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Tuesday night in response to the gasoline. The movement activates the Florida National Guard, as needed, and directs state emergency management officials to work with federal and local officials.

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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has also declared a state of emergency.

Dave Gussak drove from station to station in Tallahassee, Fla., Searching for gas, seeing a line nearly a mile long at pumps outside a Costco. He eventually passed a gas station on his way to Florida State University where he works.

“This is insane,” he said.

Irena Yanava’s tank was half full, but she wasn’t about to take any chances as she sat in her car at the same Tallahassee gas station.

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“I know I’ll need it soon, so why not?” she said.

The Citgo terminal in Fairfax, Va., Was running out of premium reformulated gasoline and its terminal in Richmond, Va., Was running out of regular unleaded fuel, according to the American Automobile Association, citing a newsletter from the. sender.

The Colonial pipeline also transports jet fuel. American Airlines has rerouted two long-haul flights from Charlotte, North Carolina, due to possible shortages. Passengers heading to Honolulu will need to change planes in Dallas, and those heading to London will stop in Boston to refuel.

Southwest and United flights carried additional fuel on flights to Nashville, Tennessee, Baltimore and some other airports in case kerosene was not available at those airports. Normally, airlines only load enough fuel for a single flight, as filling adds to the weight of the aircraft and hurts mileage. Most planes can carry enough fuel for a round trip, but the extra fuel consumption costs money.


Bussewitz reported from New York and Caina Calvan reported from Tallahassee. Associate writers Aamer Madhani in Washington, Michelle Chapman in New Jersey, and David Koenig in Dallas contributed to this report.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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