But the auto club says there are ample supplies.
Towson, Md (KM) The East Coast is seeing increased gasoline prices and some shortages due to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. Ragina Ali, Manager of Public and Governmental Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic, says prices at the pump have been going up since before the shutdown in anticipation of the busy Memorial Day Holiday Weekend. “The cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline has really had a pretty quick and significant impact as it relates to gas prices in many areas up down the East Coast as well as here in Maryland,” Ali says.
The Pipeline was shut down last weekend following a cyber attack. Ali says the pipeline provides 45% of the fuel for the East Coast. “And another factor on top of this attack on the Colonial Pipeline–in addition to increased demand–is the shortage of truck drivers to deliver the fuel,” she says.
AAA says the average national price of gasoline is $2.98 per gallon, which is seven-cents more than last week, and three-cents more than on Friday. In Maryland the average price is $2.92 per gallon, and that’s six-cents more than last Friday. And in Frederick, it’s $2.88 per gallon, nine-cents more than a week ago, and five-cents more than on Friday.
There have been reports of gas stations running dry, but Ali does not anticipate a return to the gasoline shortages of the 1970’s, when drivers lined up to fill up their cars. “We recognize there could be some limited, temporary shortages in some areas up and down the East Coast. But there is certainly amply gas supply in the United States. It’s just a matter of getting deliveries to those stations to meet demand,” she says.
The operators of the Colonial Pipeline say they expect to resume operations later this week. “Even once the pipeline is running, the residual delivery impact may linger a bit. So that’s because it can be anywhere between 15 and 18 days for the pipeline to pump fuel from Texas to New Jersey,” says Ali.
“Adding to that the existing delivery delays due to the shortage of fuel tank drivers and some stations could see a few extra days of temporary-bagged pumps,” continues Ali
If you are driving and want to know where gasoline is and how much, AAA has Fuel Finder on its website at: www.aaa.com/fuelfinder. “We also encourage motorists to avoid panic-buying,” Ali says. “Of course, as we said, there is ample supply of gas. It’s a just matter of getting that gas where it needs to be.”
By Kevin McManus