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Supplies of gasoline tightened further in parts of the U.S. on Tuesday, as Colonial Pipeline’s shutdown entered its fifth day… prompting a flurry of activity at gas stations.
“You don’t want to miss out. You don’t want to be the one who doesn’t get gas.”
All along the East Coast - many drivers waited, bumper to bumper, to fill up their gas tanks… fueled by concerns of potential price spikes.
In Marion, South Carolina, Yasheeka Wiggins was struck by how many cars were lined up:
“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 O-M-G I have to fill my tank up.”
Days after a ransomware attack prompted the leading U.S. fuel pipeline operator to shut its vast network - Colonial Pipeline’s corporate website on Tuesday faced an outage.
The website came back online hours later. The company on Twitter said it was a ‘temporary service disruption’ unrelated to the cyberattack... And that (quote) “We continue to make progress on our system restart plan.."
Despite the company’s plan to restart its fuel network to operational service by the end of the week… Many drivers are not taking chances.
Clerk Kenny Sloan on Monday watched as demand for gas in Tallahassee caused his inventory to fall:
"They don't know when they're exactly going to be able to distribute more gas.”
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday tried to reassure Americans there was no need to panic-buy:
"It's not that we have a gasoline shortage. It's that we have this supply crunch. And that things will be back to normal soon. And that we're asking people not to hoard and know that we are all over this."
The U.S. Transportation Department said on Tuesday it was evaluating whether a temporary waiver of the Jones Act - which requires goods moved between ports to be carried by ships built in the U.S. and staffed by Americans - is needed to ensure sufficient gasoline supply to some U.S. states.
The FBI has accused a shadowy criminal gang called DarkSide of the ransomware attack that crippled the biggest fuel pipeline in the country.