The Colonial pipeline cyber attack has affected the gasoline supply in the country because the pipeline is the largest in the United States. Hundreds of gas stations have long lines of waiting vehicles.
The shutdown of the Colonial pipeline, which transports more than 100 million gallons of fuel from Texas to New Jersey each day, extended into its fifth day, causing nervous shopping with hundreds of Americans looking to fill their vehicles’ tanks.
While the company that runs the Colonial pipeline said Monday that it is manually operating a portion of the pipeline that runs from North Carolina to Maryland, most of the line is still down. The company said it is working with the federal government to fully investigate the situation and respond to the black market.
According to New York Post data and analyst estimates, about 7.6 percent of gas stations in Virginia were out of fuel Tuesday morning. Likewise, 5 % of gas stations in North Carolina, 3.3 % in Georgia, and 2.4 % in Florida ran out of gas.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared states of emergency in their localities, while Kemp also issued an executive order suspending the gas tax to try to offset the costs of rising fuel prices.
Users took social media platforms to denounce gasoline shortages. Others shared images of shoppers filling up fuel containers and others with humorous memes compared the rush to the same intensity in which thousands of Americans went out to buy toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic.
Tallahassee Democrat photojournalist Alicia Devine posted a video of an “insane line” of cars waiting for gas at a gas station in Florida’s capital city, one of the few she found that even had fuel.
In South Carolina, Greg Suskin of WSOC9 published a video of cars waiting in a gas station without gasoline saying that people went to other stations and could not find gasoline.
Colonial pipeline officials said Monday that they expect to restart most of their operations by the weekend. However, that’s not soon enough to avoid shortages and rising prices, as supplies have begun to dwindle.
The FBI confirmed that the Colonial pipeline cyber attack was carried out by a professional hacking gang known as “DarkSide,” known for extorting money from companies and allegedly giving a cut to charity.
Is Russia behind the Colonial pipeline cyber attack?
Although the hacking gang that attacked the Colonial pipeline has claimed it is not affiliated with any government, Republican senators blamed the Democratic administration for its “flip-flopping” on Russia.
“No cyber gang in Russia could carry out this type of attack against a piece of critical U.S. infrastructure without the tacit or explicit knowledge of the government of Vladimir Putin,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“He [Biden] calls Vladimir Putin a murderer once and acts like he’s a tough guy. Democrats have been beating their chests about Russia for the last four years, but as soon as Joe Biden took office, they went back to their weak, moderate roots once again (…) we should immediately go on the offensive if that’s what it takes,” the senator added.