GOP pols want Cuomo to suspend gas tax amid Colonial Pipeline debacle
Biden signs order on cybersecurity after pipeline hack upends gas market
Colonial Pipeline has restarted operations after cyberattack
Pain in the gas: Pump prices hit 7-year high as pipeline shutdown spurs panic buying
The national average gas price has jumped to $3.02 per gallon — even as Colonial Pipeline restarts operations and federal officials say supply should normalize in hard-hit states by the end of the weekend.
Prices across the country have risen eight cents over the past seven days, according to the Automobile Association of America.
Colonial, which operates the biggest oil pipeline in the nation, halted operations a week ago after it was hit by a crippling cyberattack believed to be orchestrated by a Russia-based criminal group. The company said it started resuming operations Wednesday evening and by Thursday morning, fuel was flowing to most of the markets it serves.
The shutdown has prompted widespread panic buying and shortages at gas stations across the Southeast. As of Thursday morning, most gas stations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia were still dry, according to GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan’s estimates. Nearly half in Georgia and the District of Columbia were also out of gas, DeHaan’s estimates show.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said Thursday that supply should normalize again by the end of the weekend.
However, GasBuddy’s DeHaan estimated that drivers in the hardest-hit states, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, could experience headaches finding gas for as long as the next two weeks as effects of the shutdown linger.
He added that it could be five to twelve days for drivers in DC, Florida, Maryland and Tennessee. He said, though, that conditions are likely to gradually improve before reverting back to totally normal.
DeHaan said prices might level off a little bit in the next day or so, but will likely continue to rise leading up to Memorial Day, one of the biggest driving days in the country.
Gas prices typically rise leading up to the holiday, and this year’s Memorial Day is expected to be bigger than most as Americans are eager to make up for holiday weekends deferred by the pandemic.
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