Gas Crisis in Southeastern States

by Jan Frazier

New York (Washington Insider Magazine) Even though the Colonial Pipeline is “back in action” after being shut down for six days, the Southeast is still feeling the repercussions of the shutdown.

Industry executives and government officials have said that it will not be easy to refill gasoline supplies.  The reason for the gas shortage has been the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline as well as panic-buying of gasoline. 

There is a staggering shortage – 71 percent – of gas in North Carolina, 55 percent in Virginia, and 49 percent in Georgia. According to GasBuddy, a company that tracks the demand of fuel, those gas stations have no gas at all.

Patrick De Hann, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, stated that “all three states only saw limited overnight improvement in the availability of gas.”

In addition, GasBuddy stated that there were major outages “in Washington, D.C., (47 percent), South Carolina (54 percent), Florida (31 percent), Tennessee (34 percent), and Maryland (34 percent).”

De Haan also wrote on Twitter that “major cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, and Raleigh are seeing some improvement in outages.”

Jennifer Granholm, energy secretary for the Colonial Pipeline, stated on Thursday morning that restarting the pipeline “went well” overnight. Granholm continued by saying, “This should mean things will return to normal by the end of the weekend.”

One of the main problems is that the gasoline and fuel in the 5,500-mile pipeline moves at just five miles per hour. At this rate, it could take “days or even weeks for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel to flow through to most places and refill nearly empty storage.”

Richard Joswich, global head of oil analytics at S&P Global Platts, said, “We are not out of the woods yet, but the trees are thinning out.” Some of the stations in the Southeast have a problem because of the massive lack of truck drivers in the U.S.  Trucks often bring the fuel to the stations.

The fuel industry pleaded with the U.S. residents on Wednesday not to “hoard gasoline.” The panic-buying is increasing the problem of the gas shortage. 


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