Georgia, Florida, N.C., Virginia Issue State Of Emergency As Gas Outages Hit Nation Under Biden
Four governors have declared states of emergency as a result of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attacks, which have resulted in gas outages.
The states that declared the emergencies were Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia, which would “allow state governments to trigger the National Guard as needed” and “help streamline coordination between state and local officials.”
Governors warn gas shortage caused by panic buying as 4 states declare emergency https://t.co/H1A7zA2tYf
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) May 12, 2021
President Joe Biden has taken the heat from the situation with Republicans blasting the Democratic President’s “slow response” to the recent attacks on the U.S. pipelines which is said to have triggered the gas shortages.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis slammed Biden for “shrugging his shoulders” in immediate response to the ransomware attack late last week that has caused disruptions to the gas supplies to the East Coast.
“This pipeline actually doesn’t touch Florida, but it does feed into many of our gas stations. So we declared a state of emergency,” DeSantis said according to reports. “We’re lifting restrictions to be able to get more fuel in the pumps.”
The GOP governor also urged the Biden administration to take the matter seriously — amid the growing panic over the potential drag in gas shortage.
“The Biden administration needs to take this seriously,” DeSantis said. “Their initial response is, ‘oh, this is a private pipeline,’ and just shrug their shoulders. This is important infrastructure for our country, and it could impact our economy greatly if they don’t respond.”
"Take this seriously": Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slams Biden Admin's gas shortage response https://t.co/VsOiJLKnVi
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) May 12, 2021
Reports noted that about 3.2% of the gas stations in Florida were said to be impacted by the gas supply crunch as of Tuesday.
Ohio Senator Rob Portman also raised concerns on the cybersecurity threat and said that the strike on Colonial Pipeline was potentially ‘the most substantial and damaging attack on U.S. critical infrastructure ever.”
Fox Business said North Carolina has been hit the hardest by the cyberattack, with 14.7% of the state’s fuel stations suffering from the supply crunch.
Meanwhile, Virginia is said to be hit “second-hardest,” with about 9.6% of the state’s fuel stations seeing gas shortages.
Georgia — which reported that 9.4% of its stations are facing gas shortages — was the third state heavily impacted by the cyberattack on the key American pipeline.
Its Republican Governor Brian Kemp later on moved to suspend the gas tax in Georgia to ease public worries about the gas supply in the state.
Today I signed an executive order suspending the gas tax in Georgia to help with higher prices as a result of the Colonial cyber attack. We are working closely with Colonial and expect for them to recover by the end of the week. pic.twitter.com/evGLqwHs2X
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) May 11, 2021
“Today I signed an executive order suspending the gas tax in Georgia to help with higher prices as a result of the Colonial cyber attack,” Kemp said on Tuesday.
“We are working closely with Colonial and expect for them to recover by the end of the week.”
In light of this issue, Politico reported that the Biden administration “is scrambling” to find ways to support the states affected by the cyberattack.
“The Biden administration is scrambling to ease the gasoline crunch that is causing scattered shortages and fears of price spikes in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast — one of the most economically and politically worrisome consequences of the cyberattack that shuttered one of the nation’s biggest fuel pipelines,” the mostly-left leaning publication wrote.
As of Wednesday, reports said the hacked pipeline remains shut as they urge Americans “not to hoard gas” as panic buying began in affected states.
The Biden admin. is urging Americans not to hoard gas Tuesday as the Colonial Pipeline, a major supplier of fuel to the Southeast, remains largely shut down for a 5th day following a ransomware attack by hackers. https://t.co/gvxvjIKnG0
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 11, 2021
The FBI said the attack on the American infrastructure was carried out by DarkSide, a relatively new criminal group said to have roots in Eastern Europe.
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