President Joe Biden and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm spent Thursday trying to tamp down the fears of a gasoline shortage in the wake of the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline.
Biden provided an update Thursday, trying to ease the concerns of millions of Americans in the wake of the attack.
Biden, who earlier in the week hinted good news was coming, said Thursday that “good news” was simply that the situation is “getting back to normal, although pointing out it “will take some time.” Biden predicted supplies would improve in the next several days.
“I want to be clear, we will not feel the effects at the pump immediately. This is not like flicking on a light switch,” Biden said. “I know seeing lines at the pumps or gas stations with no gas can be extremely stressful, but this is a temporary situation.”
After the cyberattack caused the Colonial Pipeline to shut down, of the Colonial Pipeline, fears of a gasoline shortage led to panic-buying in several locations.
Posts began showing up all over social media of lines and of people filling multiple gasoline storage tanks.
Colonial Pipeline released a statement Thursday morning it had restarted its system Wednesday and had “made substantial progress.” The statement added that product delivery has commenced” in a majority of markets.
On Thursday, Granholm tweeted, “Colonial Pipeline reports this morning that the restart of the pipeline went well overnight. This should mean things will return to normal by the end of the weekend. Will keep you posted.”
And during an appearance on CNN Thursday morning, Granholm said the effects of the hack will “take time to wear off.
“People will start to see normalcy in the next couple of days,” Granholm said during the CNN interview. “Hopefully by the end of the weekend, the consumer won’t even know that the shortage exists anymore.”
ABC News reported that gas stations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., with fuel outages are over 50%, according to GasBuddy. According to the ABC report, gas prices nationally topped $3 per gallon for the first time in seven years.
Until the shortage lets up, Granholm warned that hoarding supplies will only make things, and the prices at the pumps, worse.
“When hoarding happens, it compounds the problem. It exacerbates the lack of supply. And it may also contribute to gas price increases. So we want to make sure that everybody knows that this is going to be — the situation going to be back to normal. No need to do that.”