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A cyberattack knocked out a pipeline and now 1,000+ East Coast gas stations are without fuel

People are the worst.

gas station fuel shortage
Image: Unsplash

Last week, a cyberattack shut down a major pipeline that provided approximately 45% of all gas to East Coast gas stations. Now, with that pipeline, the Colonial Pipeline, is still partially locked up five days later, people are being people and freaking out.

In a blend of social media frenzy and people being selfish assholes, people are lining up at any gas station that still has gas to fill up their vehicles and gas cans because oh my god the sky is falling. With many jobs still being work-from-home, where are you people going? Why are you like this?

GasBuddy, an app that helps display gas prices and fuel shortages, notes that some states like North Carolina are seeing massive shortages, with almost 25% of gas stations out of gas. My home state of Virginia is seeing 15% of stations out of gas.

Social media has been a massive catalyst in pushing people to horde gas. Images are circulating (many of which are actually from years prior) showing people filling up any container they can get their hands on and, in turn, causing other people to go out and do the same thing, because of the most natural of human motivations, greed.

Some stations are seeing wait times over an hour and these long lines are even causing dangerous traffic conditions as people are lined up out into roads.

“We are asking people not to hoard,” US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters at the White House. “Things will be back to normal soon.”

Update 5/13/2021 9:55 AM EDT: Colonial Pipeline has announced that it will resume normal operations on May 12 at 5 PM Eastern time, after being forced to shut down due to a ransomware attack.

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