Colonial Pipeline shutdown fuels panic buying, empty gas stations

By: Alyssa Wilson

After a cyberattack shut down the Colonial Pipeline on Friday, which moves about 45% of fuel for the East Coast, gas stations across the country experienced shortages as people began panic buying gas.  

According to CNN, nervous drivers across the East Coast are filling up their tanks. On Tuesday, 12.3% of gas stations in North Carolina and 8.6% in Virginia did not have gas. Gas stations in other states, including Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, experienced shortages as well.  

RELATED: Senator seeks probe of natural gas price spikes during storm 

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the Southeast is in a “crunch” that will take several days to rectify. “We have gasoline,” she said. “We just have to get it to the right places.”  

Robert Sinclair, the Senior Manager of Public Affairs at AAA Northeast, joined “Start Your Day” with Sharon Reed and Mike Hill to discuss the panic buying of gas. He urged drivers to relax and not rush to fill up their tanks.  

“There are 230 million barrels of gasoline in storage around the nation that can be drawn upon. We can get gasoline delivery from overseas, particularly for the northeast from Europe in particular and the North Sea oil supplies,” he said. “Demand is going to tick up. Prices will continue to probably go up, more a reflection of demand than any shortages that we’re seeing. But, we’re in good shape. Folks just need to relax and chill out a little bit, yall.”  

RELATED: Massive breach fuels calls for US action on cybersecurity  

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