HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Officials from the President, to state governors, including Alabama’s Kay Ivey, are urging residents not to panic-buy gas after a cyber attack forced the shutdown of a major East Coast supply line.
The Colonial Pipeline stretches from Texas to New Jersey. It supplies the East Coast with nearly half of its fuel. The pipeline was taken offline last week when hackers targeted its computer systems.
We’re seeing those impacts here in North Alabama as drivers worry a potential shortage will impact them. But AAA says there is no need to worry.
“The Colonial Pipeline supplies about 45 percent of the gasoline we use here in the state of Alabama and across the Southeast,” says Clay Ingram with AAA Alabama.
With its partial closure, consumers are flocking to fill up their tanks, mostly out of fear there won’t be enough gas to go around.
“There really should not have been an issue with gas availability. A weeks time of being without the pipeline is really not quite enough time to start causing outages and shortages and things like that,” says Ingram.
But because of panic buying at the pumps, now some gas stations across North Alabama are temporarily out of fuel.
“It’s purely from panic buying, no other reason. Its a shame that what we needed to be doing is buying as little gas as possible and using as little gas as possible but everybody has been doing the opposite and buying as much gas as they could buy,” says Ingram.
Clay Ingram with Alabama AAA a says panic buying is not only causing a shortage but is also driving up prices at the pumps.
“If you’ve got enough gasoline to last you a few days there’s no need to go out and buy anymore. Stations being out scares people and it makes them want to run out and buy more. It just snowballs in the wrong direction and honestly, there was just never any need for that in the first place,” says Ingram.
AAA says the Colonial Pipeline expects to resume full operations by the end of this week.