No Need to Hard Gas Amid Fears of Fuel Shortage, Energy Secretary Says

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “No Need to Hard Gas Amid Fears of Fuel Shortage, Energy Secretary Says” – below is their description.

    As the shutdown of a major fuel pipeline entered into its fifth day, efforts are under way by both Colonial Pipeline and the Biden administration to stave off potential fuel shortages, though no widespread disruptions were evident.

    The Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, was hit by a cyberattack on Friday.

    By Tuesday, more than 1,000 gas stations had run out of gasoline, shortages primarily driven by panic buying.

    Speaking at the White House briefing on Tuesday, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm told reporters that a large part of the pipeline resumed operations manually late Monday, and Colonial will be able restart most of its operations by the end of the week.

    But she warned, motorists may still feel a crunch because it takes a few days to ramp up operations. “We know that we have gasoline, we just have to get it to the right places,” Granholm said.

    Granholm warned gas station owners there will be “no tolerance for price gauging,” and urged the public not to hoard gasoline, insisting there is no need.

    “As 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,” she said.

    The White House said this week that it is monitoring supply in parts of the Southeast and that President Joe Biden had directed federal agencies to bring their resources to bear.

    The states most dependent on the pipeline include Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas, he said.

    The attack raised concerns, once again, about the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Ransomware attacks are typically carried out by criminal hackers who scramble data to paralyze their target’s networks. Large payments are demanded to decrypt it.

    Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters the threat “is not imminent, it is upon us.” And he said it is a “stark example” of what many have been warning “for some time now.”

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    Tennessee is a state in the southeastern United States.

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