After an alleged “cyber attack” shut down a major US pipeline, drivers are now struggling to fill up their vehicles as fear of a major gas shortage has hit the east coast.
The Colonial Pipeline suffered the alleged cyber attack last week, and while they originally planned to reopen later this week, fear of the gas shortage is now causing panic for many drivers.
The chaos brought on by the shortage includes higher gas prices, longer lines, and people stock piling gasoline.
Several pictures and videos are making the rounds on Twitter, showing the first-hand chaos of what’s happening.
The chaos has also sparked concerns that Joe Biden’s reliance on foreign oil will cause more problems in the future.
The Colonial Pipeline CEO warned of fuel shortages following the alleged cyber attack.
Fox Business has more on the effects that the fuel shortage is having on gasoline stations:
Despite plans to reopen a major U.S. fuel pipeline later this week, following a cyberattack by a gang of hackers, Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount warned state officials Monday to be ready for possible fuel shortages.
In a private meeting, Blount said the company wouldn’t resume shipments until the ransomware had been removed, Bloomberg reported, citing someone who was at the discussion.
Blount reportedly maintained that the company has full control over the pipeline and is working with refiners, marketers, and retailers to prevent further outages, according to the source.
The company says it is manually operating a portion of the pipeline that runs from North Carolina to Maryland and expects to resume full services by the weekend.
Meanwhile, gas stations supplied by the pipeline were reporting shortages Monday evening. Patrick De Haan an oil and refined products analyst tweeted that Virginia was reporting 5% of stations without gasoline and rising."
The 5,500 Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, halted operations last week after revealing a ransomware attack that it said had affected some of its systems.
Several videos have hit social media, which show higher fuel prices, long lines at gas stations, and people panic buying massive amounts of gasoline.
CBS News has more on the mad scramble for gasoline:
Drivers along parts of the East Coast are feeling the immediate effects of the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline following a ransomware attack, reports CBS News' Laura Podesta. Some waited an hour or more on lines at gas stations before filling up or learning the pumps had run dry.
In Marion, South Carolina, Yasheeka Wiggins said, "It was unbelievable. When I was driving today, I thought it was a catastrophe coming! I've seen all these cars waiting and I was like, 'OMG. I have to fill my tank up!'"
CBS Florence, South Caroline affiliate WBTW-TV reported lines at stations from Marion and Mullins to Myrtle Beach.
The South was being hit hardest. Late Monday night, almost six-and-a-half percent of gas stations in Virginia were out of fuel, according to travel app GasBuddy. It said more than 1% of stations in North Carolina and Florida had no gas.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency and suspended some regulations to make sure the state has enough fuel.
And availability may not be the only issue.
"If this outrage goes past the end of the week … prices could spike pretty dramatically," said Kevin Book of Clearview Energy Partners.
"It's very difficult to pin the exact amount prices may rise, but for now, it appears to be a few cents per gallon, possibly growing more significant if the pipeline remains shut down for more than 2-3 more days," GasBuddy said in a blog post on Monday.
Prices were already edging up before the cyberattack, due to growing consumer demand and resurgent economic growth. Over the last week, the national average for a regular gallon of gas has risen 6 cents to $2.96, according to AAA. Should that trend continue, an increase of 3 more cents would bring the average to $2.99, which would be the priciest gas since November 2014, the auto club said.
For those who have paid close attention, none of this should be a shock.
President Donald Trump even warned us of the dangers of Joe Biden obtaining power: