Colonial Pipeline resuming operations; no gas shortages in Missouri

Missouri

Drivers fill their tanks at the Speedway in East Ridge, Tenn., on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The concern over the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline has sparked lines at gas stations and empty pumps in the Chattanooga Area. (Matt Hamilton /Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

U.S Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tweeted late Wednesday afternoon that the Colonial Pipeline, the nation’s largest fuel pipeline which provides 45 percent of the East Coast’s gas, is restarting operations after a computer hack led to distribution problems and panic-buying at thousands of stations, primarily in the Southeast.

Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations today at approximately 5 p.m. ET.

“Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal. 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,” the company said in a statment.

Despite that panic-buying, there is no gasoline shortage, according to government officials and energy analysts. But there is a problem getting the fuel from refineries on the Gulf Coast to the states that need it, and officials have been scrambling to find alternate routes to deliver that fuel.

The Colonial Pipeline is not used to get fuel to the St. Louis area, so that has not had an impact on our region, according to the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association.

The St. Louis region is served by the Explorer Pipeline. The company could not be reached for comment.

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