Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm urged Americans not to hoard gas amid a spike in demand, following the ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline along the East Coast.
Granholm said that Colonial expects to substantially restore operations by the end of the week, but even after a possible decision to fully restart the supply of gas through the pipeline, it will take a few days to ramp up operations.
“And still I want to be clear that these states who are impacted, even with the turning on of the pipeline system, they still may feel a supply crunch as Colonial fully resumes. But the American people can feel assured that this administration is working with the company to get it resumed as soon as possible,” Granholm said during Tuesday’s White House press briefing.
Despite that, Granholm said Americans should not buy gas they don’t need, this as some gas stations have run out of fuel.
“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 and over the weekend,” she said.
A number of gas stations along the East Coast are currently out of fuel after drivers aggressively filled up their tanks following the attack on the Colonial Pipeline.
As of 11 a.m. ET Tuesday, 7.6% of the gas stations in Virginia and 5.8% in North Carolina didn’t have gasoline, according to outage figures reported by GasBuddy, an app that tracks fuel prices and demand.
Granholm also called on gas station owners to act responsibly and not price gouge during the supply crunch.
“I do want to say this, that we expect that gas station owners are and should act responsibly. We will have no tolerance for price gouging. Federal and state officials will be investigating those actions if they see price gouging and we are urging consumers to report any price gouging to their state attorneys general,” Granholm said.