Gas experts say there’s no need to rush to the pumps

Experts say you should not rush out to buy gas right now if you don’t absolutely need it. Hoarding gas could cause a shortage.
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 2:40 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S., has paused operations after a cyberattack over the weekend.

The Colonial Pipeline delivers nearly 45 percent of the fuel consumed on the East Coast. The FBI assigned blame in the Colonial attack to DarkSide, a criminal syndicate whose ransomware was used to interrupt pipeline operations.

Across the county, people have rushed to the pumps leading many gas stations to put a limit on the amount of fuel each person can buy. Some stations have had to close their pumps because they are out of fuel.

Patrick DeHaan, the head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy urged drivers not to panic.

“Gasoline is going to start flowing here later this week,” said Patrick DeHaan, the head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy. “There’s no need to go out and fill your tanks up because gasoline is going to be available soon.”

Colonial Pipeline had restored some fuel delivery Tuesday, but the main artery of the pipeline remained shut down. Colonial said it anticipates the majority of its service will be restored by the end of the week.

According to GasBuddy, drivers may see slightly higher prices once operations begin again.

Megan Cooper with AAA East Tennessee says this is not the time to go to the pump and fill up all of your vehicles and gas cans. Right now there are crews working to get gas to where it is needed.  She says if people continue to panic buy we could see the impacts from the pipeline last longer.

“Once people start buying more gasoline than they need, that’s where we get into a situation where we could create issues that aren’t necessarily caused by the Colonial Pipeline. It’s because more for people buying up all of that supply of gasoline at a certain area, which means it will take a lot longer to refill all of those local stations,” said Cooper.

To help alleviate potential shortages, the Environmental Protection Agency waved some fuel quality requirements on an emergency basis.

Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.