The largest fuel supplier to the East Coast has been shut down for several days.
The Colonial Pipeline, a crucial fuel supplier for New York, has been forced to shut down for several days after a ransomware attack crippled its IT systems, Autoblog reports.
This might make 2021 the worst year ever to own a gas-guzzler: sorry Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, Ford Mustang GT, and Chevrolet Corvette Stingray owners. First there was a shortage of tanker drivers, causing gas shortages across America this summer to ruin your vacation. Now, this cyberattack on the Colonial is causing fuel shortages across the eastern seaboard.
The largest oil supplier to the East Coast, the Colonial Pipeline has the capacity to send around 2.5 million barrels (105 million gallons) of fuel a day from Houston to North Carolina and 900,000 barrels a day to New York.
As a result of the pipeline shutdown, pumps in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia are reportedly running out of gas. Since it's not known when the system will be restarted, traders are using vessels to deliver gasoline that would normally have been shipped on the Colonial system. Tankers are also being used to store gasoline in the US Gulf in case the shutdown lasts longer than expected. "It's an all-hands-on-deck effort right now," said US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
"We are working closely with the company, state and local officials to make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren't disruptions in supply."
These gas shortages couldn't have come at a worse time. As lockdown restrictions ease and life beings to get back to normal, more drivers will be on the road commuting to work and taking long-overdue vacations. Your next visit to the pumps could also be more expensive - as a result of the disruption caused by the cyberattack, average US gasoline prices could increase to $3 per gallon for the first time since October 2014.