The reason why some gas stations are running out of fuel isn't because of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Tuesday, but rather because people are panic buying.
"Much as there was no cause for, say, hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, there should be no cause for hoarding gasoline," Granholm told reporters.
Running from Texas to New Jersey, the Colonial Pipeline transports 45 percent of the East Coast's fuel supply. It shut down on Friday when the company learned it was the target of a ransomware attack, but the pipeline is expected to be "substantially operational" by the end of the week, Granholm said.
On Tuesday, more than 1,000 gas stations in the South and along the East Coast reported being out of fuel. There are long lines at other stations, and this is due to a "supply crunch" rather than a worrisome shortage, Granholm said. With summer approaching, gasoline prices are starting to go up, and Granholm warned gas station owners there will be "no tolerance for price gouging."