PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline could lead to more pain at the pumps when it comes to your wallet.
Days after the cyberattack, it’s possible that drivers here could be impacted, but experts tell KDKA it could be too early to tell.
Gas prices at stations in Carnegie and Edgewood were seen to be slightly higher, with prices around $3.09 for regular gasoline.
Colonial Pipeline, which suffered the cyberattack, transports more than 2.5 million barrels per day of gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel.
The company says they’re working on restarting operations in phases and hope to be fully operational by the end of the week. They have begun manually operating their 700,000 barrel-per-day fuel line between Greensboro, N.C. and Maryland using existing inventories.
We’re in that time of year where gas prices start to climb.
“Because we’re switching over to summer blend and we’re kicking off summer travel season,” said AAA media spokesperson and safety advisor Lynda Lambert.
Lynda Lambert says for weeks, gas prices have steadily increased because of consumer demand. But she also says the recent cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline could make it worse.
“And AAA is expecting gas prices could climb anywhere from three to seven percent before this pipeline gets up and running again,” said Lambert.
Patrick De Haan with GasBuddy isn’t too worried about the pipeline attack affecting prices.
“That’s one of the well-established myths that we’re seeing is that this is not going to be much of a pricing event,” said Patrick De Haan with GasBuddy.
In fact, he says we’re lucky this wasn’t a refinery.
“As we saw in February with the Texan shutdown, those are the issues that could really drive prices, but this is about getting gas to point A to point B,” said De Haan.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Monday to help ensure that the state maintains a sufficient fuel supply.
Monday marked the fourth day that the Colonial Pipeline was offline due to a cyber attack.
“I’m going to be meeting with President Putin. So far, there is no evidence based on our intelligence people that Russia is involved,” said President Joe Biden.
“Although, there is evidence that the actors’ ransomware is in Russia. They have some responsibility to deal with this,” President Biden added.
CBS News also reports that Colonial has refineries mostly in the Gulf Coast with markets in the Southern and Eastern United States, providing fuel to more than 50 million Americans.
Experts say prices have been on the rise before the cyber attack, due to growing consumer demand and economic growth.