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Colonial Pipeline cyber attack won’t affect Florida’s gas supply, but prices could shift

A cyber attack on Friday caused a major U.S.fuel pipeline to temporarily halt operations as officials work to mitigate the threat.

A Russian criminal group called DarkSide could be responsible for using ransomware to extort the Colonial Pipeline, which carries fuel from Texas and supplies states across the southeastern US and up to the New York Harbor, NBC News reported.

As Florida receives its fuel largely from Gulf Coast refineries via waterborne vessels, the state will be well supplied with gasoline as officials work to restart the pipeline, according to The Autoclub Group [AAA].

Prices are another story, as the cost of gas in Florida already increased 10 cents last week in response to crude oil and gasoline futures price gains, AAA reported. Gas prices are influenced by domestic and international supply and demand, leaving pumps vulnerable to future price swings.

“The longer the pipeline is down, the greater the threat of rising gas prices,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “If operations are restored on Monday, drivers may see very little to no impact at the pump. A lengthy downtime, like a week, would be a different story. Sunday night, gasoline futures prices were up less than a nickel.”

Colonial Pipeline Co. is reportedly developing a restart plan and will bring the full system back online when they believe it is safe to do so. There is currently no clear timeline on when that full restart will occur.

In effort to ease supply concerns, the Department of Transportation issued a temporary hours of service exemption that applies to tanker trucks transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other petroleum products. Similar exemptions have been issued during hurricanes or other natural disasters and apply to 18 states including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. 

A White House official said Sunday that the Energy Department is leading the government’s response, NBC News reported. Agencies are planning for a number of scenarios in which the region’s fuel supply takes a hit, the official said.

The pipeline is a 5,500 mile network based in Georgia and transports 45% of the east coast’s fuel supply.

Regional Prices

  • Most expensive metro markets – West Palm Beach-Boca Raton ($2.99), Panama City ($2.95), Tallahassee ($2.94)
  • Least expensive metro markets – Punta Gorda ($2.81), The Villages ($2.83), Jacksonville ($2.84), Orlando ($2.84)

Find Florida Gas Prices

The post Colonial Pipeline cyber attack won’t affect Florida’s gas supply, but prices could shift appeared first on NBC2 News.

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