People Are Panic-Buying Gasoline After Cyber Attack Shuts Down Major US Pipeline

by : Cameron Frew on :
People Are Panic-Buying Gasoline After Cyber Attack Shuts Down Major US PipelinePA Images

Panic-buyers are hitting up petrol stations after a major US pipeline suffered a cyber-attack.

As prices approach the same levels seen back in 2014, gas stations along the American east coast have been plagued by empty pumps and long lines. According to the Automobile Association of America, the national average price rose to to $2.985 per gallon of gas on Tuesday, May 11.


The ransomware attack saw the closure of Colonial Pipeline, a 5,500-mile long vessel for more than 100 million gallons of fuel between Texas and New Jersey every day. It’s been shut for five days, and it’s starting to cause major supply issues.

As reported by CNN, 12.3% of gas stations in North Carolina and 8.6% in Virginia have ran completely dry, as per figures from fuel-reporting app GasBuddy.

It’s happening in other states too, with residents in Georgia, Florida, Virginia and South Carolina flocking to the pumps to load up, even bagging petrol and keeping it in their cars.


Both North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp have since declared states of emergency, with Kemp also issuing an executive order suspending the state’s gas tax to help alleviate higher fuel prices, as per the New York Post.


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Photos and videos from gas stations across the country have been shared on social media, with some even showing fights and arguments. ‘I’ve visited five gas stations this morning and the Costco one is the first to have gas. A Costco employee just told a car trying to get in line… you’ll have to find the end of the line. I don’t know where that is,’ one user wrote.

‘I woke up 30 min. early to go get gas. Gas station was busy already (no lines yet, though) and it cost me just over $60 to fill up my car. A few weeks ago, it was $53. In late 2020, I was paying $40. Call me whatever you want, but this isn’t sudden. This was by design,’ another tweeted.


Tiffany Wright, from AAA Carolinas, criticised the ‘irresponsible behavior at the pump… people are taking their entire family fleet of vehicles to the gas station and filing up when they don’t need to. We are our own worst enemy in this situation because we are over-consuming at the pump.’

Jennifer Granholm, the US Secretary of Energy, also said, ‘Let me emphasise that much as there was no cause for say, hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, there should be no cause for hoarding gasoline, especially in light of the fact that the pipeline should be substantially operational by the end of this week and over the weekend.’

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Now, Petrol, US


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    Gasoline demand spikes in several states after pipeline hack

  2. New York Post

    Gas stations along Southeast coast suffer fuel shortage, panic buying amid pipeline shutdown