Only 100 days into the Biden administration and America is already experiencing a significant fuel crisis.
The panic-buys and supply shortages began across the country’s east coast after the Russian ransomware group, Darkside, allegedly targeted the Colonial Pipeline in a ransom scheme last Friday.
The pipeline is a 5,500-mile-long system that transports more than 100 million gallons of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil per day. That is roughly 45% of the fuel consumed on the Eastern Seaboard between the Gulf Coast and the metro area of New York.
According to Reuters, the group known as DarkSide says their goal is to make money, not to cause chaos. Ransomware is best described as a virus that renders computers and computer systems useless until a ransom is paid. The amount requested here has not been disclosed to the public.
In several statements released by Colonial Pipeline, officials have said they should be back up and running by this weekend. However, many Americans remain doubtful as worried drivers aggressively filled their tanks.
“On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack. We have since determined that this incident involves ransomware. In response, we proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations, and affected some of our IT systems. Upon learning of the issue, a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm was engaged, and they have launched an investigation into the nature and scope of this incident, which is ongoing. We have contacted law enforcement and other federal agencies.”
As demand shot up, the national price at the pump hit an all-time high across the country. According to Gasbuddy, a mobile app based on finding real-time fuel prices, 8.5% of gas stations in North Carolina and 7.7% in Virginia didn’t have gasoline.
The East Coast reported a 32.5% increase in demand Monday compared to the previous week, followed by the Midwest at 16.2%, the Gulf Coast at 13.1%, the Rocky Mountain region at 6.6%, and the West Coast at 8.4%.
Meanwhile, For many Americans, a severe spike in gas prices hasn’t been seen since the Obama years. GasBuddy states officials have predicted that the national average will reach its highest level since 2014, $3/gal, in the next week.
WE HAVE A GAS SHORTAGE
I couldn’t get any gas today!
Please explain to me how Joe Biden is the most Popular President but we don’t have much Gas?
If you voted for Joe don’t complain, this is your fault
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) May 12, 2021
Several state governors have so far declared a state of emergency in response to the gas shortage dilemma. North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and other state governments have stepped in to direct support of relief efforts related to gasoline shortages.
Reminiscent of the toilet paper crisis in 2020, the CP pipeline hack has provoked the same amount of chaos.
Footage of panicked drivers desperately filling up their gas tanks spread like wildfire across the Internet yesterday.
Wow! Gas prices at this BP gas station off Williamsburg Rd in Richmond now up to $6.99. When we arrived about 20 minutes ago it was at $5.99.
— Shannon Lilly CBS 6 (@ShannonLillyTV) May 11, 2021
In Virginia, a CBS reporter documented gas prices rising at one BP station from $2.99 to $6.99 within a matter of hours.
In Robinsonville, NC, a gas station reported that they are completely out of gas and could remain out for another five days.
This gas station in Robbinsville is all out of gas. Clerk said manager told her it could be five days before they have gas again. Says phone has been ringing off the hook of people calling around to find gas @WLOS_13 pic.twitter.com/SCcwmb1Pc0
— Caitlyn Penter (@CaitlynWLOS) May 10, 2021
— Fly on the wall (@Huge2na) May 11, 2021
President Joe Biden has yet to address the country about recent developments directly, despite the gas shortage affecting mostly Democrat states. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm spoke to the press yesterday in brazen efforts to gaslight the public and defend the administration.
“We know that we have gasoline, we just have to get it to the right places,” Granholm said. “It’s not that we have a gasoline shortage, it’s that we have this supply crunch.”
“Things will be back to normal soon,” she added. “We’re asking people not to hoard and know that we’re all over this.”
Although the abrupt gas shortage has affected several Americans, Democrats, and Republicans, it’s difficult for citizens to not direct blame at President Biden as the Biden administration has notably kept its distance from the “private sector” situation.