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Expand chart

Data: S&P Global Platts; Map: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Colonial Pipeline is shutting down its major arteries that bring large amounts of gasoline and other refined products to markets thousands of miles into the Northeast and states in between.

  • "Once Colonial is able to ensure that its facilities are safe to operate and refiners in Lake Charles and points east have the ability to move product to Colonial, our system will resume operations," the company said, via CNN.
  • More context: "Colonial was already running at reduced rates due to Harvey-related disruptions at its origin point in Texas, but the closure of the entire system threatens to escalate concerns about fuel supplies in the world's largest oil consumer," the Financial Times reports.

Why it matters: It's the largest refined petroleum network in the country. The announcement from the supplier of 100 million gallons daily last night will further restrict fuel supplies and networks battered by the massive storm's flooding.

Sums it up: "Record flooding in Texas is straining superhighway of energy trade," is the subhead of this in-depth Wall Street Journal look at how the storm has snarled the vast network of refineries, ports, pipelines, trucking routes, and other energy infrastructure along the Gulf Coast.

Price surge: AAA reported early Thursday that the average nationwide price of gasoline is now $2.45 per gallon, which is nearly a nickel above yesterday's price and 10 cents higher than it was a week ago.

State of refineries: S&P Global Platts, in its latest update Wednesday evening, said roughly 3 million barrels of refining capacity remains offline in Texas. Combined with other refineries running at reduced levels, over a fifth of the U.S. refining has been affected.

  • However, some refiners including Valero and Marathon are beginning to resume operations in some facilities.

Important point: Paul Sankey, a top analyst at Wolfe Research, said in a note that the direct harm to various kinds of energy infrastructure and companies in the Houston region is only part of the story.

  • "Expressions of unharmed infrastructure may prove to be meaningless — there is no way to get people to run much of this asset base, regardless of its condition," Sankey wrote.

Warning: Via Reuters, "Concerns over fuel shortages ahead of the U.S. Labor Day weekend were mounting, said analysts at JBC Energy."

Go deeper

Updated 34 mins ago - Health

COVID cases and deaths keep falling

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

America’s coronavirus outbreak is rapidly improving as the Delta wave recedes, and vaccines for kids — which could become available within weeks — will help the situation improve even further.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day — a 22% drop over the past two weeks.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 34 mins ago - Economy & Business

How the pandemic caused a corporate rebound

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeWork becomes a public company today worth more than $9 billion — a vindication of the expensive turnaround strategy employed after it spectacularly imploded in 2019. Like many companies that find themselves at death's door, that which didn't kill them made them stronger.

Why it matters: Hertz, Alamo Drafthouse, Airbnb, and Toast are among the currently-thriving companies that were shaken to the core in the early days of the pandemic — providing further evidence for the theory that, in the words of former Fast Company editor Bill Taylor, "companies can't be great unless they've almost failed."

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook is a news media magnet

Expand chart
Data: Signal AI; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

New data finds that Facebook has been mentioned in more online stories in the U.S. in the past year than all of its major tech competitors combined.

Why it matters: Press scrutiny of Facebook has become so intense and negative that the tech giant is reportedly planning to rename itself as soon as next week to signal that it's more than just a social media company.