Colonial Pipeline restarts operations following hacking shutdown

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations following hacking shutdown
Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
May 12th, 2021 | ABC News Radio

(WASHINGTON) — The Colonial Pipeline has been restarted following a multi-day shutdown in the wake of a ransomware attack. The shutdown had caused panic buying of gas in many southeastern states.

The company restarted operations at about 5 p.m. ET.

“Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,” the company said in a statement. “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period. Colonial will move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel as is safely possible and will continue to do so until markets return to normal.”

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said she had spoken to the company’s CEO just prior to them restarting operations.

Colonial Pipeline transports approximately 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast. The company said on Saturday it was the victim of a cyberattack involving ransomware, and had temporarily halted all pipeline operations as a result.

“Tonight’s announcement means there’s an end in sight for the supply disruptions that have affected States across the Southeast,” the White House said in a statement late Wednesday night. “President Biden and the White House will monitor the situation closely in the coming days, and continue to urge Americans to just purchase what they need, and not hoard fuel, as supply is restored.”

Gas prices nationally crossed $3 a gallon on Wednesday as many in the Southeast lined up for hours to fill their tanks.

“The group discussed the latest updates on fuel supply in the affected region, and steps that agencies have taken and are considering to further alleviate the supply shortages,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Even with the pipeline reopened, it’s unclear exactly when those shortages will be relieved.

President Joe Biden teased “good news” in a briefing Wednesday afternoon.

“We have been in very, very close contact with Colonial Pipeline, which is the one area you’re talking about, where the — one of the reasons the gasoline prices are going up,” he said. “And think you’re going to hear some good news in the next 24 hours. And I think we’ll be getting that under control.”

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