‘There’s not a gas shortage’: AAA worker says to not ‘panic buy’ in light of pipeline cyberattack

Local News

AAA recommends looking up gas stations on your next travel route and calling to see if they have gas since it's just "a matter of distribution and delivery"

(WKBN) – Gas concerns tonight across the country — a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline is to blame, but it is now back up and running. The issue is leading to panic in the southeast. So what should you do if you are traveling that way?

Nobody likes to run out of gas when they’re traveling, and the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline may affect your travel plans. Mainly, if you’re going south or up the east coast.

“There’s not a gasoline shortage, it’s a matter of distribution and delivery. We already have a truck driver shortage in the United States, so this is just complicating things,” said Lynda Lambert, with the American Automobile Association (AAA).

So, you could see long lines, depending on where you travel. AAA recommends looking up gas stations on your route and calling to see if they have gas.

“So maybe you might run into a station that doesn’t have any gas at the time but if you drive on down the road a little bit, you’ll find gasoline. Plan ahead and be prepared, that’s the best advice we can give,” Lambert said.

It also brings up supply and demand. Gas stations are having trouble keeping that supply. In the areas the Colonial Pipeline fuels, gas could go up 3 to 7 cents.

“It’s important to remember, this time of year gasoline usually goes up because we are approaching the summer travel season and that’s when demand increases and we’re switching over to summer blend, which cost a little bit more,” Lambert said.

But if you do plan on heading to these areas, experts recommend not to panic buy.

“It’s just like toilet paper last year during the pandemic. There wasn’t a toilet paper shortage but everybody panicked and bought it all up,” Lambert said.

Instead, experts recommend doing what you did before the pipeline was cyber attacked.

“If everybody would get the gasoline they need at the time. Don’t let your tank get below a quarter full because that’s hard on the car, but once you get to a quarter of gas left in your car, go fill up,” Lambert said.

According to the Gas Buddy app, the states that are seeing the hardest hit of gas “outages” are both Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia.

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