Alabama governor urges people not to hoard fuel after pipeline attack

Published 5:54 am Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday urged people to refrain from panic buying at gas stations after the pipeline cyberattack, saying Alabama does not have a fuel shortage but that hoarding could create one.

Ivey spokeswoman Gina Maiola said the governor spoke to the U.S. Department of Energy and was assured that the pipeline should be operational in a few days. The governor urged people to “be courteous, only fill up if you need to, and do not fill up multiple containers.”

“She is urging Alabamians and others to not panic and to use good judgement. A shortage has not reached Alabama at this time, and she reminds us that an overreaction would only lead to that,” Maiola wrote in a statement. “Governor Ivey urges patience and common sense,” she added.

The Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, was hit by a cyberattack on Friday. The operator of a major U.S. fuel pipeline said Monday it hopes to have services mostly restored by the end of the week.

Officials across Alabama issued similar pleas for people not to overreact.

“Buying extra gas that you don’t need right now can make matters worse,” Enterprise Mayor William Cooper told WTVY.

WTVY reported that Cooper said lines at gas stations around the city were long Tuesday morning and some people are filling up gas cans in addition to refueling their vehicles. Enterprise Police Department had a number of calls during the night and this morning regarding arguments among motorists in gas lines, he said.

States have taken a variety of actions in the face of the attack. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he is suspending state taxes on motor fuels to offset increasing prices.