Colonial Pipeline back online; Kemp urges Georgians to not panic buy

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ATLANTA – Following several days of gas shortages in North Georgia and across the country, the Colonial Pipeline announced the restarting of operations on May 12 at 5 p.m.

Colonial stated, “it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal. Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.”

Murphy’s Oil in Blairsville on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Governor Brian Kemp suspended Georgia’s gas tax and prohibited price gouging. Today, Kemp announced the EPA granted permission for Georgia to use some of its winter fuel to ease shortages. He’s also urging people to not panic buy gas.

Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner John King offered the following safety guidelines for the use and storage of gasoline:
  • It is not safe to stockpile gasoline. Storage of a large amount of flammable liquid can be dangerous, particularly in a residence with children.
  • Use only OSHA or DOT approved containers for gasoline storage. Using makeshift storage options, such as plastic bags, is extremely dangerous.
  • Place the container on the ground while filling and keep the nozzle inside the container to avoid generating static electricity.
  • Do not use cigarettes or cell phones/other electronics while pumping gasoline.
  • Store gasoline containers in the trunk of your car or bed of your truck while transporting them and make sure they are secured so as not to tip over.
  • No one under 16 years old should pump gasoline.

The measures haven’t prevented individuals from doing just that. Some local gas stations have prevented anyone from filling up cans and only allow drivers to top off their tanks.

The gas lines at two stations required police officers to direct traffic.

“My office has been in close contact with company and industry officials since we first learned of the Colonial cyber attack over the weekend,” said Governor Kemp. “Unfortunately, extensive media coverage has caused people to panic which has resulted in higher gas prices. We are taking action to relieve some of the cost burden from Georgians as Colonial recovers by suspending fuel taxes, increasing the weight limit for supply trucks, and prohibiting price gouging.

The pipeline was a victim of a cybersecurity attack on Friday, May 7. Colonial engaged a third-party firm and informed federal authorities about the attack.

Since the pipeline went offline over the weekend, Colonial worked with shippers to delivered approximately 967,000 barrels (~41 million gallons) to various delivery points. This includes delivery into the following markets: Atlanta, Ga., Belton and Spartanburg, S.C., Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C., Baltimore, Md., and Woodbury and Linden N.J.

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