Consumers Pay the Price of Russian Fuel Pipeline Cyberattack

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More than 300million drivers, from Texas to Pennsylvania, are facing the possibility of gasoline shortages, resulting in long lines and empty pumps, as the reality of a week-long shut down of one of the nation's largest pipeline looms.

Most severely affected, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia have declared a state of emergency. Consumers have provided videos of lines extending a mile or more at each gas station. Georgia's Governor Brian Kemp has suspended gasoline tax so to keep prices from skyrocketing.


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Price gouging could also become a serious issue as supply dwindles and demand increases.

"As of 9 a.m., 78% of gas stations in Greenville, Spartanburg, Asheville and Anderson have reported outages, while 72% of Raleigh and Durham stations, 71% of Charlotte stations, 69% of Greenville New Bern and Washington stations, and 65% of Norfolk Portsmouth and Newport stations have no gasoline," Foxnews.com reported.

Each of the other seventeen states effected by the hack have experienced similar shortages.


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The shutdown, due to a Russian Cyber-Ransomware attack initiated by Darkside, a Robinhood style hacking organization, is also costing consumers as gas prices, especially in these hard-hit states, has seen a steady increase.

Two days prior to the May 6, 2021, cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, located in Houston, Texas, "Christopher Krebs, who formerly headed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, testified last Wednesday before the House Committee on Homeland Security that a form of malware called ransomware has become more prevalent than ever before. Given an ever-widening criminal enterprise and vulnerable digital landscape, he said, critical infrastructure is at risk of debilitating attacks," The Washington Post reported.


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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan has waived the federal Reid vapor pressure requirements for fuel sold in Reformulated Gasoline areas of District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to facilitate the supply of gasoline. This waiver will continue through May 18, 2021. 

The shutdown of the largest pipeline in the United States has extended beyond its original seven states to seventeen states including Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.


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"The Department of Transportation agency said in a statement the declaration "addresses the emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products and provides necessary relief."

Consumers are encouraged to check Gasbuddy.com or other online fuel sources before heading out to idle in long lines only to find stations are out of gas.

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