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Colonial Pipeline Hack Fueling Gas Shortages and Panic Buying

Colonial Pipeline Hack Fueling Gas Shortages and Panic Buying

As #BidenGasShortage hits social media, administration says, “It’s not that we have a gasoline shortage. We have a supply crunch.”

The ransomware cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline has led to a continuous shutdown of significant stretches of the company’s system. The response is now fueling gas shortages and panic buying in portions of the 17 states that receive their fuel from this source.

In the Raleigh, N.C., area on Tuesday, cars were lined up 30 deep to access a dozen pumps at a BJ’s Wholesale Club. Lines also formed at a Sheetz convenience store near Raleigh-Durham International Airport, one of the rare stations around that still had fuel.

Shortages in the area were also afflicting gas-station owners like Mike Whalen, whose family owns three locations that were out of fuel on Tuesday. The vice president of finance for Whalen Corp. said he doesn’t have alternative ways of getting gas or any sense for when his supply might be replenished. Plunging gasoline sales also mean fewer customers in the stations’ stores buying drinks and snacks.

“Am I losing money? Hell yeah I’m losing money,” he said.

Gasoline demand Monday across the U.S. was up about 20% from a week earlier, according to data collected by price and fuel tracker GasBuddy. Across five Southeastern states—Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia—demand for gasoline jumped 40%, the figures showed.

The current administration is desperate to get ahead of the curve on this issue, especially as #BidenGasShortage is making its way across social media. Shockingly, plans include easing up on regulations and trying to convince Americans the admin is not to blame.

The moves, including waivers of some environmental and labor rules to ease gasoline shipments, come as the closure of the Colonial Pipeline enters its fifth day, further straining a fuel market approaching its busiest season of the year. Already, industry estimates indicate that about 8 percent of gas stations in Virginia and North Carolina are out of fuel, even if supplies nationwide are ample enough to cope with demand.

“We have gasoline,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters on Tuesday — the second day in a row that the White House had used its regular daily press briefing to address fallout from the pipeline hack. “We just have to get it to the right places.”

Pressing the point further, she said. “It’s not that we have a gasoline shortage. We have a supply crunch.” Still, the coming days “will be challenging,” she said, and she asked people not to hoard gasoline — amid indications that some people are doing exactly that.

Perhaps if our FBI had spent more time investigating known hackers instead of tracking down garage pulls and checking up on Trump supporters, this situation could have been averted.

As a bonus, fuel prices are spiking across the country.

Gas prices have spiked to a seven-year high after Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut off the nation’s biggest fuel pipeline in the wake of a cyberattack as some fuel distributors warned of ‘catastrophic’ shortages across the South and Northeast.

The national average for retail gasoline prices was at $2.985 as of Tuesday, according to the American Automobile Association. The last time the average gas prices were above $2.99 was back in November 2014.

Colonial Pipeline indicates that it plans to be back to normal operation by the end of the week. In the meantime, enjoy reliving the 1970’s –


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Eastwood Ravine | May 12, 2021 at 7:18 am

But, hey, no mean Tweets, right?

    And no more of those uncouth working class stiffs and icky black and brown people Trump brought into the GOP. Going forward the Republican Party can go back to being a party of rich white globalist politicians bowing before woke corporations.

Bucky Barkingham | May 12, 2021 at 7:57 am

The public should realize that this is a preview of life if the anti-fossil fuel plans of the Left are fully implemented.

Who killed Ashli Babbitt?

    Reportedly David Bailey, a BLM activist and Capitol cop

      Ben Kent in reply to MarkS. | May 12, 2021 at 12:50 pm

      If it had been a white cop – the media would have blasted his name everywhere and he’d be in prison – likely solitary “for his own protection” for the last 4 months. And the assumption would be that he was motivated by racism. And BLM would raise $100 million already by pushing their racist narrative.

The problem can be easily and instantly solved by letting the price rise to increase supply and decrease demand. But public outrage at economics won’t allow it.

Classic and very entertaining on the virtue of price gouging, from back when econtalk was interested in economics and not feelings (podcast)

    MarkS in reply to rhhardin. | May 12, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Increasing prices will get the pipe lines back in operation? Go for it!

      rhhardin in reply to MarkS. | May 12, 2021 at 8:07 am

      No, increasing prices will induce people with gasoline and gasoline trucks to fill one up and drive it to North Carolina, because (1) We have gas and (2) we can make a great profit by filling up and driving it there.

      rhhardin in reply to MarkS. | May 12, 2021 at 8:09 am

      And of course at $20.00 a gallon there’s no panic buying. “Maybe I’ll wait.” People who absolutely must drive can still go but there’s no competing with people who can postpone.

      lichau in reply to MarkS. | May 12, 2021 at 9:31 am

      Thus speaks an economic ignoramus.
      The beauty of a free market (RIP) is that if there is enough money to be made, people will find a way.
      Bread was free in the USSR.

      Neo in reply to MarkS. | May 12, 2021 at 12:16 pm

      Dementia Joe can bring back Jimmie Carter’s “Windfall Profit Tax”

    Our governor issued an order banning “price gouging,” which is probably why all the gas stations went dry last night.

“Perhaps if our FBI had spent more time investigating known hackers instead of tracking down garage pulls and checking up on Trump supporters, this situation could have been averted.”

Unlikely since the hacker group is based in Russia.

    CommoChief in reply to mark311. | May 12, 2021 at 9:35 am


    If you trace back the routing path and evaluate the methods used in hacking attacks you can ID telltale ‘fingerprints’ which these groups and individuals utilize.

    Then it is a matter of making an apprehension. IMO, these hackers are the equivalent of pirates and should be treated as such; ‘enemies of the human race’. No quarter given.

    That change to our position and the position of the world at large would certainly reduce the number of hackers and the frequency of their attacks.

    It isn’t as hard to find these folks as everyone believes.

      mark311 in reply to CommoChief. | May 12, 2021 at 11:44 am

      I’m fully aware of who has been identified as the hacking group or indeed the providers. The point I was making is that they are based in Russia and they don’t care or may even be encouraging the hacks. In other words they are in a safe haven with little to no chance of being brought to justice.

      With regard to identifying who did it, purely from a technical point of view it’s very difficult to identify who may or may not have carried out various cyber attacks. It’s pretty easy to make tell tales look obscure or from alternative groups. That’s one of the reasons nation states like Russia use cyber warfare because it’s so hard to definetively pin point blame.

        Brave Sir Robbin in reply to mark311. | May 12, 2021 at 4:58 pm

        “The point I was making is that they are based in Russia and they don’t care or may even be encouraging the hacks.”

        I don’t know about that. Maybe SEAL Team Six has a little spare time on their hands. Truly, if I were president I would inform these hackers they are dead men walking.

        But however you reach into safe havens, and there are many ways, I think the earlier point is salient. Internal political oppression by US law enforcement and the intelligence community is not making anyone better off or safer. The threat to the nation is NOT from imaginary “White Supremacy.” When I see “White Supremacists” killing people, blowing things up, burning things down, and looting stores, I will change my mind.

        You can part with reality, but reality will not part from you.

          Brave Sir Robbin in reply to Brave Sir Robbin. | May 12, 2021 at 5:05 pm

          Or hacking critical infrastructure.

          Last point, when I said “You can part with reality,” I did not mean specifically you. It was a statement of a general nature. Not that you are always in touch with reality – or at least as I define it, but I just wanted to note I was not trying at this moment to insult you. I may have insulted you in the past, and may do so again in the future, but this was not my current intent.

        You are an idiot. Yes, there were Russian trolls pretending to be Americans who hoped to influence the 2016 election. Guess the fuck what, we do this in EVERY country across the globe, as do all national actors. It’s been done since time immemorial by everyone, including the U.S. and UK. Not always the internet, of course, but in every single way imaginable foreign actors try to influence elections in foreign countries. This is not new or rare or weird or unique to the 2016 election. That you think it is simply shows that you are a naive, stupid person. You think the UK never acted to influence (faux) “elections” in its colonies? You think the U.S. never acted to influence elections in foreign states? Heck, Obama sent a team to Israel with the express purpose of taking down Bibi. Fact.

        What was actually alleged was that Trump or his people engaged in collusion with a foreign actor (Russia) to win the 2016 election. This was proved false by the years-long investigation by Mueller and his hundreds-strong team seeking only to discredit the American president. And they found NOTHING to suggest any foreign collusion, much less with Russia.

        There is no evidence, none, that ANYONE even tangentially allied with the Trump team engaged in collusion with foreign powers, including Russia. It did not happen. Period.

        CommoChief in reply to mark311. | May 13, 2021 at 8:49 am


        It ain’t hard, just labor and time intensive. Working through diplomatic channels to get ‘responsible’ Nations on board with treating hackers as the legal equivalent of pirates is needed.

        At that point it is simply a matter of rounding them up. Whether that is via extradition, rendition or flipping drone strike will depend on where they are hiding.

        If the hackers know that the ‘responsible’ Nations of the world are united on the point and will use the means available to defeat them they will roll on each other just like in any other criminal network.

        Once the designation as a ‘pirate’ is made simply round up all the known big time hackers. They will sing given the alternative.

        Hollymon in reply to mark311. | May 15, 2021 at 8:31 pm

        “It’s so hard to definetively (sic) pin point blame.” Apparently, Mark, we aren’t trying hard enough. Privately owned companies need to publicly announce bounties for information on identity and location of the bad guys. When the information comes, and it will, the next step is obvious.

smalltownoklahoman | May 12, 2021 at 8:27 am

If people are hoarding gasoline I hope they remember to get some ethanol fuel stabilizer to blend in with it. Gas blended with ethanol doesn’t keep too long without it

According to gasbuddy last night, my little corner near Norfolk, VA is pretty much out of gas. I can’t seem to get on to check right now.

Socialism on Parade… Note :: the cross-border Great Lakes oil pipeline from Canada will soon be shut down..~3.7 million barrels per day,.

    tom in reply to Taxpayer. | May 12, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Wrong. That’s gallons, not barrels.
    It doesn’t come from Canada it comes from Wisconsin. Some of it goes to Canada.
    And most important Embridge is not backing down. They refuse to shut down because of Gretchens “order” which she has no authority to make.

The folks on the Atlantic seaboard will be short of supply for a brief period. There are other pipelines that supply to Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

The bigger issue is the number of qualified delivery drivers. They need additional certification to haul fuel. The reduced demand for fuel during lockdown caused many of the drivers to shift to other freight or enter another field entirely.

Came way too close to being stranded last night because we ventured out with my fuel-level light on, assuming I’d be able to gas up as usual after sitting for ten minutes in the drive-up line at Walgreens.

We got home after aborting the rest of our errands, and we’ll be in Mrs. McG’s hybrid for today’s errands, but I’ll be reading up on the Dark Arts to punish the hackers and the panic buyers alike.

Should I settle for boils on their skin, or a plague of lice?

Meganinvegas | May 12, 2021 at 10:17 am

I personally am very skeptical of the notion there was a hack I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that was made up . The current administration is more concerned with checking all the diversity boxes rather than appointing qualified people. They need to spend less time trying to reduce problems ie it’s not a shortage it’s a supply crunch and more time fixing issues,but then they’d have to admit they don’t have a clue

    TX-rifraph in reply to Meganinvegas. | May 12, 2021 at 10:52 am

    I was thinking that there is something here that is not making sense. Then, it is nearly a sure bet if you reject a narrative of a leftist/Democrat.

    mark311 in reply to Meganinvegas. | May 12, 2021 at 11:39 am

    The issues are pretty complex, how do you create adequately defended systems from cyber attack. That’s really fucking hard. Not going to happen over months or even years. This is just the latest in many cyber attacks/ransomware attacks

Antifundamentalist | May 12, 2021 at 11:15 am

“Not the admin’s fault.” It is the admin’s responsibility, regardless of fault. I’m surprised I haven’t heard Biden blaming Trump yet.

    What. Under that analysis Trump could be blamed for the mere fact that Covid 19 happened no matter what the cause. Stupid argument.

      Brave Sir Robbin in reply to mark311. | May 12, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      I thought he so blamed.

      Well, anyway, I vote for blaming Fauci, but will settle for China.

      henrybowman in reply to mark311. | May 12, 2021 at 8:47 pm

      And that is precisely how Democrats blamed him. “The urban rioting happened on his watch therefore it was his fault.” Even though it wasn’t even his jurisdiction to control.

Set a thief to catch a thief. VERY publicly announce that you are willing to spend the exact same amount of dough you gave for ransom, five mil was it? to any hackers who can provide proof of the identity and location of any of these extortionists. You’ll get the info. It may take a while, but you’ll get it.

Then, well… you hire some other guys with a different skill set.