Pipeline Ransomware Attack Fuels Gas Station Shortages, Long Lines

Gas stations display the price of gasoline in Leonia, N.J., Monday, May 10, 2021. (AP Phot
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and the subsequent concerns about gas prices is fueling a gas shortage on the East Coast, according to preliminary reports on social media.

Colonial Pipeline, a critical source of fuel on the East Coast of the United States, shut down its operations on Friday after the cyberattack, prompting concerns that gas prices would rise.

The Biden administration repeatedly reassured Americans on Monday afternoon the United States was not experiencing a gas shortage.

“At this point in time, I would just reiterate: We don’t see a supply issue,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the daily press briefing.

Later Monday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency, suspending vehicle fuel regulations to help alleviate the shortage.

By Monday evening, Psaki issued a statement acknowledging gas supply shortages.

“The Administration is continually assessing the impact of this ongoing incident on fuel supply for the East Coast,” she wrote. “We are monitoring supply shortages in parts of the Southeast and are evaluating every action the Administration can take to mitigate the impact as much as possible.”

President Joe Biden promised a swift government approach to the ransomware attack and that he was tracking it very closely.

“The agencies across the government have attacked quifly — quickly to mitigate any impact on our fuel supply,” he said Monday afternoon.

Reporters in South Carolina independently noted shortages in their areas of the state.

Others wryly noted that it was a sign of “Biden’s America,” hearkening back to the gas shortages of the 1970s.


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