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Fuel Price Increase Expected After Cyber Attack

AP file photo

Over the last week, the national gas price average jumped seven cents to $2.967. If the trend continues, it would make the national average the most expensive since November 2014 – the last time we saw average prices at $2.99 and higher.

Around Western New York and Chautauqua County, the price for a gallon of fuel is $2.93.

AAA forecasts gas prices to climb this week in reaction to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which delivers approximately 45% of all fuel to the East Coast. Over the weekend, the Colonial Pipeline announced they were the victim of a cybersecurity attack and, as a precaution, shut down the pipeline, which runs from Texas to New York Harbor. At this time, some lateral lines have reopened, but there is no word of when the mainline, including the gasoline line, will be operational.

“This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally. Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week.”

The longer the pipeline is offline, the larger the impact on the east coast. However, foreign gasoline imports and other pipelines can supplement Northeastern supply. Other areas of the country will see little impact.

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