RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Monday that will allow for greater fuel transportation flexibility after a major pipeline was taken offline Friday following a cyber attack.
Cooper’s order temporarily suspends motor vehicle fuel regulations “to ensure adequate fuel supply supplies throughout the state,” according to a news release from his office.
The Colonial Pipeline, which was shut down Friday, is a primary fuel pipeline for North Carolina.
Hit by a cyberattack, Colonial Pipeline, the operator of a major U.S. fuel pipeline, said Monday it hopes to have services mostly restored by the end of the week as the FBI and administration officials identified the culprits as a gang of criminal hackers.
Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45 percent of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, halted operations last week after revealing a ransomware attack that it said had affected some of its systems.
On Monday, U.S. officials sought to soothe concerns about price spikes or damage to the economy by stressing that the fuel supply had so far not been disrupted. The company said it was working toward “substantially restoring operational service” by the weekend.
“Today’s emergency declaration will help North Carolina prepare for any potential motor vehicle fuel supply interruptions across the state and ensure motorists are able to have access to fuel,” Cooper said in a news release.