Biden warns gas stations not to price gouge: "That's not who we are"

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President Biden on Thursday warned gas companies to not price gouge amid major shortages following the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack.

The big picture: Biden added that the FBI does not believe the Russian government is behind the attack, but they do know that those responsible "are living in Russia."

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  • The president noted that the Justice Department launched a new task force that will specifically prosecute ransomware hackers "to the full extent of the law."

  • Biden on late Wednesday signed an executive order in an attempt to bolster the country's cybersecurity defenses following the cyberattack.

What he's saying: "I'm going to work with governor's the affected states to put a stop price gouging wherever it arises and asking our federal agencies to stand ready to provide assistance to state level efforts to monitor address any price gouging," Biden said.

  • "Nobody should be using this situation for financial gain. That's what the hackers are trying to do. That's what they are about, not us," he added.

  • Biden also said that people should avoid getting "more gas than you need the next few days" because "panic buying will only slow the process," as it will likely take a few days for the pipeline to return to normal operations.

Context: "Reports of price gouging have circulated in states most impacted by the closure of the 5,500-mile Colonial Pipeline. The pipeline runs from Texas to New Jersey, transporting more than 100 million gallons of fuel per day along the US Southeast," the Independent writes.

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