Colonial Pipeline restarted operations Wednesday evening after a ransomware attack paralyzed the entire pipeline system that spans from Texas to New Jersey since last Friday. The company warned it could take days to normalize and that its pipeline would not be fully functional immediately.
Colonial's pipeline carries about 100 million gallons per day of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, resumed operations around 1700 ET Wednesday. The company said it would take several days for deliveries to recover fully, and disruptions are still possible.
Four states and federal regulators relaxed fuel driver restrictions to increase deliveries of supplies to stem fuel shortages. Georgia suspended sales tax on gasoline until Saturday.
Tracking firm GasBuddy (by the way, the number one app in the App Store) outlines the hardest hit states by the fuel shortage.
As of 2300 ET Wednesday (or an hour before midnight), GasBuddy provided a full list of the percent of gas stations with fuel outages per state:
- AL 9%
- DC 42%
- DE 5%
- FL 29%
- GA 50%
- KY 3%
- LA 0%
- MD 31%
- MS 6%
- NC 74%
- NJ 1%
- SC 53%
- TN 27%
- TX 0%
- VA 56%
- WV 6%
The Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Tennessee seem to be the hardest hit states by the gasoline shortage, with relief that may not come until the weekend. Even if Colonial's pipeline system is flowing, there is a shortage of qualified tanker drivers that may prolong shortages or at least result in continued elevated prices.
All week, drivers across the Southeast US have waited in long lines to fill up, panic hoarded fuel, were given a taste of what it's like to live in socialist Venezuela.
With the fuel shortage crisis entering the sixth day, seventeen states and Washington, DC, are still under emergency declarations to address fuel shortages.
The emergency declaration covers Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
The shortage has pushed up the average US price of gasoline above the $3 mark for the first time in 6.5 years.
Just how much inflation is the consumer willing to take? Well, a breaking point could be nearing as consumer prices are exploding at the fastest pace since the early 1980s.