VDEM: Stop fueling gasoline frenzy through panic buying

44% of Virginia gas stations report outages
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is asking people to stop overbuying gasoline.

“We’re encouraging people not to panic-buy gasoline. Don’t hoard gas,” said Jason Elmore, Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Distribution issues, compounded by gas hoarders, now have about 44% of gas stations across Virginia on empty as of Wednesday.

“I’m sure could be definitely increasing, just in my area here in central Virginia, I’ve been able to see the lines around gas stations so we’re seeing that,” said Elmore.

VDEM is closely watching the Colonial Pipeline system disruption and what federal leaders are saying about it.

“We don’t have a particular time or date that everything will be under control. I think obviously we all hope it’s sooner than later so but we’re just working as hard as we can to try to get fuel and everything into the commonwealth,” said Elmore.

The governor has declared a state of emergency to help ease distribution channels. Waivers should help get more fuel on the roads by allowing trucks to haul for longer hours and delaying the switch to summer fuel blends.

Around the metro-Richmond area, some places don’t have any gas, more have limited options and a lot do have gas.

“This has long been an issue of increasing worry,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger, (D) VA 7th District.

Rep. Spanberger says cyber threats need to be taken seriously, but lawmakers in Washington also need to go after the money which is the main motivator behind many of these attacks.

“If we make it that much harder for criminal networks, such as this one, to be able to move money and launder money - that gets at the heart of their motivation in the first place,” said Rep. Spanberger.

Colonial Pipeline says it has initiated the restart of operations Wednesday after a cyberattack last weekend forced the system to shut down.

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