White House Urges Americans Not to Hoard Gas Amid Colonial Pipeline Shutdown

The White House urged Americans on May 11 to avoid hoarding gas amid the Colonial Pipeline shutdown following a ransomware attack by a Russian hacking group.

“Much as there was no cause for hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, there should be no cause for hoarding gasoline,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said at a White House press briefing.

According to Granholm, the shutdown would likely cause “supply crunch” to hard-hit areas, but not a “gasoline shortage.”

The areas most impacted by the shutdown include North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Southern Virginia, according to Granholm.

“We know that we have gasoline. We just have to get it to the right places,” Granholm said.

“Things will be back to normal soon and that we’re asking people not to hoard and know that we are all over this,” Granholm said.

Granholm echoed what the pipeline company said last May 10, saying that the pipeline should be “substantially operational by the end of this week and over the weekend.”

Granholm also said that the company is expected to make a decision on fully restarting operations by the end of May 11, but added that “it will take a few days to ramp up operations.”

Granholm also urged consumers to report price gouging at gas stations to their state attorneys general. She said that federal and state officials will investigate any instances of price gouging.

Running nearly 9,000 kilometers, the pipeline is a major supplier of fuel to the southeast as it is responsible for transporting fuel supply to about 45% of the East Coast.

A Russian hacking group known as Darkside claimed responsibility for the May 7 cyberattack on the pipeline, stating that it was after money.

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