Several East Coast Gas Stations Still Dry Despite Colonial Pipeline Restart

Gas stations from Florida to Maryland are still without gas despite the reopening of the Colonial Pipeline, driving some fears from consumers that the gas shortage could go on longer than anticipated.

On Saturday May 8, the Colonial Gas Pipeline, which provides much of the gas used by consumer on the east coast, was the victim of a cyberattack that forced them to halt flow on the pipeline for several days. 

This prompted many consumers to stock up on gas, driving an already low supply even lower and sending prices for many above $3 a gallon. According to data from The Washington Post, nearly 12,000 gas stations along the east coast have no fuel to sell.

Government and energy industry officials have remained firm on their stance that there was plenty of fuel supply and that things would return to normal once the pipeline reopened. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm posted to Twitter on Wednesday May 12, saying that she had just gotten word from Colonial’s CEO that the pipeline would be reopening.

Despite the reopening of the pipeline and gas flowing, many gas stations are still in very short supply. Data from GasBuddy shows that 65% of gas stations in North Carolina are without gas, with over 43% of station in Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia reporting similar shortages.

Officials speculate that this largely due to hoarding from panicked consumers, who buy large amounts of gas at once in preparation for a lack of supply.

Colonial has made formal statements that it will take several days for supply to even out across its distribution area. Interim president of the National Tank Truck Carriers association Ryan Streblow noted that this shortages could be pushed even further if consumers continue to hoard gasoline.

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