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AAA: Coloradans Shouldn't Panic Over Eastern US Gas Shortage

DENVER (CBS4) - A cyberattack on the company that runs the Colonial Pipeline forced the company to shut down. As many states in the southern and eastern parts of the U.S. panic over fuel, a AAA Colorado spokesman says Colorado drivers have nothing to worry about.

"Again, Colorado friends, don't fret! I'd be *thrilled* to tell you why we're going to be OK, but the bottom line is that we're going to be OK. Don't fret. Don't panic," said Skyler McKinley on Twitter on Wednesday.

Gas Pump At Gas Station
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The pipeline runs from Houston to Linden, New Jersey and supplies nearly half of the East Coast's fuel. Images of lines at gas stations across the Eastern U.S. and videos of fights breaking out over fuel have many wondering if they should top off, hundreds of miles away.

Biden Administration Issues Fuel Waiver For Multiple States To Ease Gas Shortage
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - MAY 12: Motorists wait in line to refuel at a Circle K gas station on May 12, 2021 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Most stations in the area along I-95 are without fuel following the Colonial Pipeline hack. The 5,500 mile long pipeline delivers a large percentage of fuel on the East Coast from Texas up to New York. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

"This fear stems from the very real feeling of 'I have things I need to do, and I need gas to do them,'" said McKinley. "Our flow of both refined oil into Colorado and processed refined gasoline is normal. I know this stuff really well, but I saw those images and thought maybe I should go buy some gas. It's just human nature."

Gas prices have been ticking up throughout the state, but McKinley says those increases were happening before the Colonial Pipeline shutdown. However, some supplies could be taking advantage of the situation.

CBS News reports shortages in at least seven states. Florida, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia have declared states of emergency.

"The first thinking is 'Oh boy prices are going to skyrocket and I need to fill everything I can with gas.' And so that's a self-fulfilling prophecy that actually makes the problem much more acute," said Patrick de Haan, Head Of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy.

Wednesday afternoon the Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations. Following this restart, the company says it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal.

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