Will New Hampshire see issues with gas supply and price increases due to Colonial Pipeline cyberattack?

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The Colonial Pipeline Co., a key supplier of gasoline, reported a cyberattack on May 7 involving ransomware, which led the company to temporarily shut down all pipeline operations.

The shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally. Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the East Coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases. New England motorists should be somewhat isolated from substantial increases in gas prices due to the ongoing Colonial Pipeline shut down. New England states source fuel from other places, including foreign imports, and we are serviced by other pipelines.

⇒Find the latest updates from Colonial Pipeline here.

The longer the pipeline is offline, the larger the impact on the East Coast. However, foreign gasoline imports and other pipelines can supplement Northeastern supply. Other areas of the country will see little impact. While there is sufficient gasoline supply in the U.S., other pipelines and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s temporary hours-of-service exemption for tanker trucks transporting gasoline and other fuels, will be able to ease the strain, but not resolve the issues caused by the pipeline interruption. Once the pipeline is up and running, there could still be residual delays as it takes about 15–18 days for fuel to flow from Texas to New York

On the week, the national gas price average jumped seven cents to $3.01 a gallon the most expensive since November 2014 – the last time we saw average prices at $2.99 and higher.  In good news, Granite Staters are paying less than the national average with the average pump price for self-serve regular being $2.86.

It is important to know there is ample gas supply in the United States. It is just a matter of getting deliveries to stations to meet demand. AAA urges against panic-buying of gasoline. The shortages throughout the U.S. are due to a shortage in fuel truck drivers and not the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, and despite the shortage in drivers and the cyberattack, there is ample supply of gas throughout the U.S.

There are other tips to keep in mind to conserve fuel like combining errands, using your more fuel-efficient vehicle, removing unnecessary and bulky items from your car. AAA advises filling up when you have a quarter of a tank of fuel remaining

We expect a significant rebound in the number of Americans planning to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend. From May 27-31, more than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, an increase of 60 percent from last year when only 23 million traveled, the lowest on record since AAA began recording in 2000. The expected strong increase in demand from last year’s holiday, which fell during the early phase of the pandemic, still represents 13 percent – or nearly 6 million – fewer travelers than in 2019.

Dan Goodman provides updates on gas prices and travel for AAA.

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