Biden Official Begs Drivers Not To Hoard Gas

( In the wake of a cyberattack on America’s largest pipeline, many Americans are taking action to make sure they don’t run out of gas.

On Tuesday, though, the top energy official in the Biden administration pleaded with Americans to not “hoard” gas.

While the country is experiencing a “supply crunch” that’s being caused by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown that happened over the weekend, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said drivers just need to be patient.

At a White House press briefing Tuesday, Granholm said:

“Let me emphasize that 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, especially in light of the fact that the pipeline should be substantially operational by the end of this week.

“It’s not that we have a gasoline shortage. It’s that we have this supply crunch and that things will be back to normal soon, and that we’re asking people not to hoard.”

Over the weekend, a ransomware attack forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down its operators so more damage wouldn’t be sustained. Sources close to federal investigators have said that a Russian group known as DarkSide is behind the attack.

That criminal group is known to try to extort corporations through cyberattacks. They then give a portion of the ransoms they collect to various charities.

Their approach to Colonial was to launch a massive ransomware attack against the company, which paralyzed the networks at the company, then demanded a large ransom to fix the damage.

Right now, the company said it was developing a “system restart” plan. The pipeline delivers roughly 45% of the fuel supply to America’s East Coast.

In a statement Sunday, the company said:

“We are in the process of restoring service to other laterals and will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations.”

The pipeline carries jet fuel, diesel fuel and gasoline from America’s Gulf Coast up to the American South. It ultimately ends close to New York City.

The fuel shortages caused by the shutdown will most likely be felt the hardest in the U.S. Southeast.

The pipeline represents “about 70% of the supplies of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and especially southern Virginia,” Granholm said.

While President Joe Biden has fought against pipelines — shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline project early in his tenure — Granholm supported pipelines as the most efficient ways of transporting petroleum products. She said:

“We have doubled down on ensuring that there’s an ability to truck oil in, gas in, but it’s — it’s the pipe is the best way to go. And that’s why hopefully this company, Colonial, will in fact be able to restore operations by the end of the week as they have said.”

It’s an effort that’s being undertaken not just by Colonial itself, but by government agencies as well. In fact, Gina Raimondo, the Commerce Secretary, described the restoration work as “all-hands-on-deck.” She said:

“We are working closely with the company, state and local officials to make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren’t disruptions in supply.”