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Colonial Pipeline Begins Restart: Latest News on the Shutdown

  • May 16, 2021

Tanker trucks are moving fuel in a 12-hour trip from Houston to Atlanta. Since the largest tanker trucks hold only 250 barrels, it would take roughly 1,000 trucks to fill all of Georgia’s filling stations. Seaborne vessels are beginning to deliver cargoes, and initial shipments from Europe, Latin America and Canada to American ports can be expected to arrive in the next few days.

Gulf Coast refineries have not stopped production, and they are chartering and loading domestic and foreign tanker vessels for storage. The Biden administration is considering waiving the Jones Act, which prohibits foreign vessels from delivering products from one domestic port to another. It can take up to four days to ship fuel from the Gulf of Mexico to Savannah, Ga., or Norfolk, Va.

Drivers offered a variety of reasons for the shortage, with some blaming President Biden for the rising gasoline prices.

“This is just stupid,” said Larry Jones, a fiberglass technician waiting to fill up in Folly Beach, S.C., where he was on vacation. “We were doing good. We build everything back thanks to Trump and his party, and now look at it.”

Others saw the cyberattack as a sign that the country’s infrastructure is vulnerable.

“I’m not surprised, because of the cyberattacks in the past,” Jim Nicolai, 71, said as he tried to fill up at a bustling convenience store in Greenville, S.C. Smiling, he added, “And our good friends in Russia.” Mr. Nicolai clicked and clicked several times before the pump dripped a mere quarter of a gallon into his Toyota Prius.

Mr. Nicolai said that he was trying to drive back to Charleston, three hours away, for his wife’s birthday but that he could not find any fuel the night before in nearby Hendersonville, N.C., where he owns a condo. He said his nephew in Greenville would lend him a car if necessary.

Bob Stock, 70, a retired customs broker, was down to a quarter tank in his Honda Civic. He needed more gas, he said, to get to a doctor’s appointment in Lawrenceville, Ga., about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta. He said he was not surprised by the rash of buying.

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