The US experiences gas shortage due to the pipeline cyber hack

Racheal Oni, Reporter

Temporary gas shortages have resulted from the shutdown of a major gasoline pipeline. Thanks to the hack that occurred on a Friday afternoon, a jet fuel pipeline supplying copious amounts of gasoline to the south and east Coast shut down. An online group known as DarkSide launched a ransomware attack, which holds computerized systems hostage, on the Colonial Pipeline system. The cyberattack knocked out computer networks responsible for fuel production from Texas to the northeast, and now frightened motorists line up at gas stations across the southeast to fill their tanks and jerrycans.

“People are going crazy. A lot of gas stations in Atlanta closed off their gas pumps and are increasing their prices, and it is not helping that people are panic buying and hoarding gasoline. I just hope people calm down and this should be over by the end of the week,” junior Moyo Delano said. 

The anxiety over the shortage triggered a price increase in gasoline, and some gas stations even closed down due to the number of panic buyers. According to GasBuddy

more than 17 percent of the stations in Georgia do not have gas. Fearful drivers fill up gas stations and cause shortages in parts or all of 11 states, despite government and industry officials saying the country still carries plenty of fuel and not to panic buy. 

“It is like the toilet paper issue again, where people bought so many toilet paper and stores were out for days. The real pandemic affecting Americans is not Covid it is the lack of reason and selfishness,” Delano said.

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia signed an executive order repealing the state’s gas tax to help motorists cope with higher gas costs as a result of the Colonial Pipeline hack. Kemp’s order also bans price gouging and increases the weight limits for trucks carrying gasoline. States with restricted fuel transportation choices, such as Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, appear particularly vulnerable.

After finding the hack, the firm that operates pipelines for oil, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products suspended operations, causing certain states to face a supply shortage. However, citizens do not need to rush to the gas pumps, as this might lead to a complete scarcity of gas and lower possibilities for this coming summer which people look forward to. The pipeline reopened on Wednesday, and the business reported that it operated in the majority of its markets by Thursday morning, with service expected to restore to all markets by mid-day.