By T. Scott Boatright
It was news that made the national rounds on Tuesday morning — some gas stations are dealing with a temporary fuel shortage that officials expected to clear up soon.
Any such shortage has been attributed to a threat late last week by a group calling itself DarkSide, which threatened officials with a ransomware attack on Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which carries gasoline and other fuel from Texas to the Northeast.
Natalie Isaacks, executive director of the Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience Store Association, said that there are some shortages occurring in the state.
“We have many stations that are experiencing periodic, rolling gasoline outages; customers may see a bag on the pump,” Issacks said.
The Louisiana Oil Marketers and Convenience Store Association represents 3,400 fuel stations, and some members — particularly in central and northeastern Louisiana — reported “extensive panic buying from consumers right now,” Issacks said Tuesday.
Nathan McBride, a representative from Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, urged Tuesday for an end to the panic.
“Folks in Louisiana aren’t drawing from the pipeline so it doesn’t supply, no one is supplied in Louisiana for the most part from this pipeline they are supplied directly from the refineries,” McBride said.
McBride added that Louisiana doesn’t rely on the Colonial Pipeline for fuel because there are many refineries in the state.
“The concern is how do you get the fuel that’s being produced here in Louisiana and also in Texas, how do you get that up to the folks who need it along the eastern seaboard?,” he said.
According to Triple-A, if the the Colonial Pipeline incident causes gas prices to increase nationwide, it will bring the highest prices seen since 2014.