Idiots at the pumps: Panic gasoline buying in the Southeast

Short-term price gouging and shortages prompt panic gas buying and hoarding as a result of the Russian gang ransomware attack on one pipeline.

Gas stations in several statesare out of fuel and AAA reports the nationwide average price breached $3-per-gallon for the first time in six years amid the cyberattack-induced shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

Driving the news: The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, the nation’s largest refined fuel pipeline that extends from Texas into the Northeast, is creating a scramble as the outage persists into its sixth day.

Catch up fast: Here are the latest developments…

  • Per GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan this morning, nearly a quarter of gas stations in North Carolina are without supplies, while it’s 15% in Georgia, and significant numbers in some other states.
  • A consumer run on fuel stations is feeding the problem. De Haan reports that demand was up by 32.5% on Monday on the East Coast (or “PADD 1” here).
  • Biden administration and state officials are taking steps to try to ease the supply problems. They include EPA waivers on seasonal environmental specifications for fuels and easing weight restrictions on fuel supply trucks.
  • The administration is also considering Jones Act waivers to enable shipments between U.S ports with vessels that are not U.S.-flagged.…

Two people are charged with assault after a fight in a line at a North Carolina gas station as a fuel pipeline shutdown sparks panic-buying, authorities said.

Knightdale police officers were called to a Marathon gas station in the town on Tuesday afternoon for a report of a crash and a disturbance related to two people fighting over spots in the line, according to a statement from the town.

The man and woman argued over spots in the line and each spat in the other’s face before the fight turned physical and a cellphone was damaged, police said.

Video posted on Instagram shows two cars bumped up against each other at a gas station. The video shows a woman apparently spit at a man in a car and he gets out to apparently spit on her. The woman in the video hits the man and they struggle for a few seconds before separating.…

What you need to know
– The Colonial Pipeline, which stretches from Texas to New Jersey and supplies 45% of the East Coast’s gasoline, shut down operations on Friday following a cyberattack
– News outlets shared footage this week of long lines at gas stations
– Federal and state officials are discouraging panic-buying, calling it is unnecessary
– Colonial Pipeline administrators expect to restore pipeline operations later this week, according to reports

  • May 12, 2021