Gasoline stations and terminals from Florida to New Jersey are running dry as shortages worsen five days into the shutdown of the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline.
As the Colonial Pipeline system -- hit by a cyberattack and forced to shut on May 7 -- struggles to recover, fuel terminals are being drained. In parts of the U.S. South,
“The situation completely changed overnight,” said Gary Kandola, chief financial officer at Express Fuel Distributors Corp., which supplies gas stations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. “They have people coming in from Virginia, Maryland” to acquire fuel.
President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he
The escalating disruption underscores just how vulnerable America’s fuel supply system has become in the wake of increased attacks on energy infrastructure by hackers over the past few years. The fuel shortage is also adding to growing inflationary pressures that have spurred rallies in commodity prices from timber to copper this month.
The White House has so far announced several measures to blunt the growing crisis, including fuel waivers and additional weight limits for some trucks. It is also taking initial steps that could permit foreign tankers to transport gasoline and diesel to East Coast ports.
“Colonial has announced that they’re working toward full restoration by the end of this week, but we are not taking any chances,” Transportation Secretary
The Biden administration will give a
About 65% of stations in North Carolina are without fuel and at least 40% in Virginia and Georgia, according to retail-tracker GasBuddy on Wednesday. Three distribution hubs in Pennsylvania have run dry and
Two of the nation’s largest truck-stop owners --- Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. and TravelCenters of America Inc. -- confirmed that fuel is scarce in some states. Both companies said they’re taking extraordinary measures to replenish tanks.
Convenience store chain Circle K, Couche-Tard’s global brand, is also seeing some disruption to fuel deliveries in the U.S., with a number of outages in affected areas, mainly in the southeast, according to a company statement on Wednesday.
As the outage drags on, traders are
The Biden administration issued an order on Sunday extending the amount of time truck drivers can spend behind the wheel when transporting fuel across 17 states and the District of Columbia. On Tuesday evening, the Transportation Department said 10 states could allow heavier-than-normal truck loads of gasoline and other fuels.
Federal transportation regulators also took the first step toward
”The Department of Homeland Security is standing ready to review any requests for a temporary waiver of the Jones Act from companies that demonstrate that there’s not sufficient capacity on Jones Act-qualified vessels to carry specific shipments of fuel in and around the region,” Buttigieg said on Wednesday. He declined to speak to “any specific waiver requests going on right now.”
The Environmental Protection Agency moved to allow the sale of gasoline that doesn’t satisfy requirements meant to help combat smog in certain areas. An initial order allowed the sale of conventional gasoline in areas where reformulated gasoline is required across Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A second order went further by waiving low-volatility requirements governing conventional and reformulated gasoline in those areas, as well as nine other states.
--With assistance from
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