White House Tells Americans Not to Hoard Gas After Pipeline Hack

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Image via Getty/Alex Wong

The White House’s energy secretary is urging Americans to not “hoard” gasoline after a major pipeline got shut down by hackers.

As fuel supplier Colonial Pipeline remained mostly shut down for a fifth day after a Friday hacker attack, which has since pushed gas prices to nearly $3 a gallon in some cases, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a Tuesday press briefing that North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Southern Virginia would be experiencing a “supply crunch,” but not a “gasoline shortage.”

“Much as there was no cause for hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, there should be no cause for hoarding gasoline especially in light of the fact that pipeline should be substantially operational by the end of the this week and over the weekend,” Granholm said, per NBC News.

Six states are estimated to have gas station outages, according to the outlet, as fuel tracker GasBuddy reported that fuel demand has risen 30 percent in the East, with other shortages in Southern areas. Roughly 40 percent of gas stations in metro Atlanta were out of fuel Tuesday, while the same could be said for 60 percent of stations in Wilmington, North Carolina. In response, some people are stocking up big time, allegedly storing extra gas in all types of containers.

Granholm said that Colonial Pipeline will decide Wednesday whether to fully restart. If so, it would take a few days for things to really get back to normal levels. She added 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.”

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