Colonial Pipeline hack: Gas shortage grips southeast U.S.
At least 11 states and Washington, D.C. are experiencing gas shortages after a ransomware attack forced Colonial Pipeline, a critical pipeline running from Texas to New York, offline on Saturday, according to crowdsourced data collected by the app GasBuddy.
Why it matters: The event demonstrates how a cyber breach of critical infrastructure can cripple large swaths of the country and that no company is safe from ransomware attempts.
By the numbers: The percentage of gas stations with fuel outages per state and D.C. as of 2:48 p.m. ET, according to GasBuddy:
- Georgia: 43%
- Alabama: 7%
- Tennessee: 16%
- South Carolina: 43%
- North Carolina: 65%
- Florida: 11%
- Virginia: 44%
- Maryland: 11%
- Mississippi: 5%
- West Virginia: 4%
- Kentucky: 2%
- District of Columbia: 10%
Of note: All data reported by GasBuddy is crowdsourced from app users and therefore may not reflect the most current information.
What they're saying: Patrick De Haan, a senior petroleum analyst at Gasbuddy, said in a tweet Tuesday that gasoline demand increased by 14.3% compared to the prior Tuesday, while week-to-date demand is up 10.7%.
- De Haan added in another tweet that the shortages may be the result of a lack of drivers to transport fuel rather than a lack of supply.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press conference Wednesday that President Biden is "using every lever of government to ensure we reduce the impact on the American people and their lives."
The big picture: The Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a regional emergency declaration for 17 states and D.C. to keep fuel supply lines open on Monday.
- The governors of Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency on Tuesday due to shortage concerns.
- Colonial said in a statement Monday that segments of the pipeline are being brought back online in a "stepwise fashion," with the goal of "substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week."
Go deeper: The ransomware pandemic
Editor's note: This story has been update with new data from GasBuddy.