Ruptured Gas Pipeline In Alabama May Mean East Coast Fuel Shortages

Image courtesy of Great Beyond

A spill of gasoline from the Colonial Pipeline in Alabama could mean higher gas prices and even shortages on the East Coast, since the line brings fuel north from refineries in Houston all the way up to New York Harbor. The governors of Alabama and Georgia have declared states of emergency as the pipeline’s repair was delayed, and it may not be back online until next week.

According to Colonial Pipeline, the company behind the eponymous pipeline, the line supplies 100 million gallons of fuel to the East Coast every day, an amount that is difficult to wrap one’s brain around.

The break in the pipeline disrupted the delivery of gasoline, though the company has been using a smaller parallel pipeline that’s used for diesel products to deliver some gasoline, but that may not be enough to meet the demand over the coming week.

The spill is estimated at 250,000 gallons, which is sitting in a holding pond in Alabama, which you should not visit with a siphon to fill your car’s tank.

What could that mean? If you have a car, you should probably go fill up the tank at some point today, but don’t panic about it. An analyst at pricing data site Gasbuddy estimated that prices could go up by about $0.15 across the board, which isn’t a huge price hike. However, any shortages resulting from the broken pipe and spill could be disastrous.

Colonial Pipeline Issues Likely to Disrupt Gas Supply on East Coast [Wall Street Journal]

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