Gas demand spikes in Central Florida after fuel pipeline hack

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency Tuesday night after the country’s largest gas pipeline shut down because of a cybersecurity attack.

The emergency order activates the National Guard, emergency management, and gives all local governments the people and resources they need to get fuel into the state.

The Colonial Pipeline, which serves much of the southeast and eastern seaboard, shut down Friday.

Governor DeSantis spoke on Fox’s Hannity about the emergency order. 

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"This pipeline actually doesn’t touch Florida but it does feed into many of our gas stations so we’ve declared a State of Emergency. We’re lifting restrictions to be able to get more fuel into pumps."

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried posted on Twitter urging people not to hoard gas.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said, "It's not that we have a gasoline shortage, it's that we have this supply crunch and that things will be back to normal soon and that we're asking people not to hoard."

But several states, including Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina, are seeing gas shortages as people worried about the pipeline fill up their tanks.

Still, Gas Buddy is reporting shortages in the Panhandle, saying 50-percent of gas stations in Pensacola are out of gas and 33-percent in Tallahassee.  

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Gas Buddy reported 3.4 percent of gas stations in Florida are out of gas, with 50 percent of gas stations in Pensacola out of fuel and 33 percent in Tallahassee.

AAA said Florida does not largely depend on the Colonial Pipeline for gas and most of the state’s fuel is delivered from Gulf Coast refineries via waterborne vessels. The organization predicts Florida gas supply should remain well-supplied.

AAA said gas prices are on track to hit their highest point since 2014 and drivers will likely feel the pain until service to the Colonial Pipeline is fully restored. 

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As of Wednesday, the national gas average was $3.00 per gallon. In Florida, it was $2.88 per gallon.

"The longer the pipeline is down, the greater the threat of rising gas prices," said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "A lengthy downtime, like a week, would be a different story. Sunday night, gasoline futures prices were up less than a nickel."

FOX News is reporting service to the pipeline is expected to be restored by the end of the week.