Florida gas pumps are running out of gas and prices are skyrocketing amid pipeline hack

Retro “No Gas” sign – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Everett Collection

Florida is feeling the heat at the pumps this week as dozens of gas stations across the state face fuel outages and hour-long lines.

It’s almost as if it were a scene pulled right out of the normal hurricane prep outages every year.

Last week Friday, U.S. officials revealed that the Colonial Pipeline was hit by a cyberattack, ultimately creating delays in the delivery of fuel due to a mandatory shutdown for investigation. 

The pipeline halted operations over the weekend due to a ‘ransomware’ malware attack that penetrated portions of the pipeline. The hack did not penetrate and spread to the critical systems that control the pipeline’s operation, but security was alarmed enough to cut off portions of the line temporarily.

The Colonial Pipeline is responsible for an estimated 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel at the pumps and is the largest fuel pipeline in the country, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).

Richard Joswick, head of global oil analytics at S&P Global Platts stated last week that depending on when the pipeline resumes operations, gas shortages could be imminent, “If it does drag on for two weeks, it’s a problem. You’d wind up with price spikes and probably some service stations getting low on supply. And panic buying just makes it worse.” 

We have arrived on Tuesday of the following week, and the pumps are certainly feeling it. Prices at the pump in the Sunshine State have jumped an average of six cents since Tuesday morning and may continue to rise meteorically if the problem at the pipeline persists. 

If the problem persists and continues to drive prices up, the U.S. could see its highest national average since November 2014.

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