NC gas prices could increase as Colonial Pipeline shuts down after cyber attack

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46) – Colonial Pipeline provides thousands of gallons of gasoline and jet fuel to major airports including Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Airline companies could feel the impact most from the ransomware attack. Meanwhile, some drivers at the pump said the price of gas is already too high.

Sydney Graham is one of several people filling up their tank concerned that prices at the pump may go up.

“The prices are too high,” Graham said. “I am working two jobs out here just trying to support myself, pay gas, ride around in my car, it’s hard.”

Prices could increase as Colonial Pipeline works to regain full control of its network. The company closed the 5,500 hundred mile pipe that runs through 12 states including North Carolina. It transfers around 45 percent of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.

Officials said the network was hacked late Friday evening.

“I hope that they can come to an agreeance and get their stuff together because the prices are too high,” Graham said.

Experts said if the pipeline is not up and running in the next 24 hours that’s when we could start to see a 10, 20, or even 30 cent increase in gas prices.

Drivers like Lyla Wise said it’s already hard paying the price of gas right now during COVID. She used to pay $20 to fill up now it’s close to $50.

“It’s just like a dread to get gas, it’s been dreadful,” Wise said.

In a statement, the company said: “We proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat, which has temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our it systems. Upon learning of the issue, a leading, third-party cybersecurity firm was engaged, and they have already launched an investigation.”

Meanwhile, drivers already filling the heat at the pump hope they won’t have to dig deeper into their pockets.

“Each cent makes a difference,” Graham said. “Whether it’s one penny to 10 cents, it makes a difference because it’s taking money out of people’s pockets that are already struggling right now.”

Right now, regular gas at the pump is around $2.79 a gallon in Charlotte. It’s only gone up a penny within the last 24 hours.

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