National average price at highest level since 2014 as drivers in Southeast scramble to fill up
The average U.S. price of gasoline broke above $3 a gallon for the first time in 6½ years on Wednesday as stations along the East Coast ran low on fuel after the Colonial Pipeline was shut following a cyberattack.
The closure of the largest U.S. fuel pipeline has prompted motorists to pile into gas stations, straining supplies in Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and several other states, primarily in the Southeast and lower mid-Atlantic region.
Colonial Pipeline Co., operator of the 5,500-mile conduit that runs from the Gulf Coast to New Jersey, closed the line last week following a ransomware attack it disclosed late Friday. It has said it hoped to fully restore operations by later this week. U.S. officials linked the attack to a criminal gang known as DarkSide.
The run on gasoline is particularly severe in Southeastern states that have few alternative sources of the fuel, but the scramble pushed farther north Wednesday as the pipeline’s outage stretched into its fifth full day.