1st Gear: Gas Stations Are Running Out Of Gas On The East Coast
This is because the Colonial Pipeline was hacked last week and has been shut down since Friday. The expectation is that it might not be back online again until this weekend at the earliest, according to Bloomberg. When it’s operating, around 2.5 million barrels are shipped each day on the pipeline, which is America’s biggest and primarily serves the East Coast. Nearly half of all the East Coast’s gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel comes through the pipeline, meaning that its shutdown will have effects well beyond cars.
From Virginia to Florida and Alabama, fuel stations are reporting that they’ve sold out of gasoline as supplies in the region dwindle and panic buying sets in. The White House said it was aware of shortages in the Southeast of the country and was trying to alleviate the problem.
Four days into the crisis, Colonial Pipeline Co. has only managed to manually operate a small segment of the pipeline — as a stopgap measure — and doesn’t expect to be able to substantially restore service before the weekend. The risk is that by that point drivers or airlines may already be suffering severe fuel shortages, while refineries on the Gulf coast could be forced to idle operations because they have nowhere to put their product.
In Asheville, North Carolina, Aubrey Clements, a clerk at an Exxon Mobil Corp. station answered the phone with “Hello, I’m currently out of gas.” The Marathon gas station in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, had roughly two dozen cars waiting to fuel up, said an employee there.
Drivers pulling into a station with a sign offering unleaded gasoline for $2.649 per gallon in Manning, South Carolina, were met with pumps covered in yellow and red “out of service” bags. An estimated 7% of gas stations in the state of Virginia were out of fuel as of late Monday, according to GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan.
------ “There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” -Albert Camus