Gas Shortages in the East

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Maggie Razo

Canyon Country Shell gas station’s gas prices compared to gas prices in Colorado which are $3.34 per gallon.

You have probably not heard of many gas stations running out of fuel until now. On the East Coast, many gas stations have run low or even entirely out of fuel. States such as South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia will most likely be heavily affected by this.

These shortages all started with cyber attacks on the Colonial Pipeline system from an online gas gang the FBI has identified as the “Darkside.” The Colonial Pipeline stretches from Texas all the way to New Jersey and also supplies most of the gasoline for the East Coast. These cyber attacks caused the system to restart the pipeline operations. The company also had to pay $5 million to the attackers to be provided with a tool that will help the operator restore the disabled network computer.

Relating to the early 2020 toilet paper shortage, many people have begun to panic buy and store all the gasoline they can find. Some people have even started to fill up trash bags when they find a gas station that has fuel. However, unlike toilet paper, there has been no restriction on the amount of gasoline people can buy at once.

With tanks running low and stations running out, people have lined up for miles just to fill up on fuel. Some gas stations have even started to raise their prices as high as $9 per gallon. This leaves a lot of people stuck with low tanks.

The company has been giving updated reports regarding the restoration of the system and they have said they are making substantial improvements. Gasoline is expected to be mostly returned by the end of the week.

People have also started to worry that the gas shortage will affect their summer trips and vacation plans. Rob Underwood, who is the president of Energy Marketers of America, said that no one should panic about scheduling trips. When all the panic buying calms down, he thinks that the supply chain and prices will stabilize once more.

Another big question being asked is if more attacks can happen. Officials confirmed that it is a possibility since the recent attack has left the industry vulnerable to others. Some other oil and even power companies have taken this as a wake up call to go through measures of preventing similar things like this from happening again. In the end this bizarre gas shortage is just another thing to add onto the book of crazy things happening during covid, but it is not something that people should worry about again.