This week gas prices have been out of control in parts of the Eastern United States after cyberattackers highjacked control of the Colonial Pipeline, which carries gas as far as New York Harbor.
Eastern European hackers used ransomware to negotiate a $5 million payout from Colonial Pipeline Company in exchange for a decryption key that would allow the pipeline system to restore online functions and get fuel moving again.
As a result of unneeded panic buying brought on by the cyberattack, the BP gas station located in Richmond at Williamsburg Rd and Parker St was charging one cent shy of $7 per gallon for regular 87 octane gas. Consumers are up in arms over the matter, and some are calling the steep hike price gouging.
“$6.99/gallon. That’s how much the @bp_plc gas station at Williamsburg Rd & Parker St is charging for 87 octane fuel,” Laura Perrot, reporting for 8News, Tweeted on Wednesday. “The price isn’t being advertised until you get to the pump.”
“I pulled in, I start pumping my gas, and then I realized I put $80 worth in my truck,” one driver told TV Station 8News. “The lady next to me said she put $100 in her car. She just started crying because she said her car don’t take that much.”
Virginia price gouging laws are in effect, but some stations seem to be ignoring them. As a result, Governor Ralph Northam encouraged residents to file price gouging complaints if they feel they paid too much for gas.
Although the BP station is just one example of significant price gouging, other parts of the state see price increases. According to Gas Buddy, an app that monitors gas prices, Virginia gas prices are up on average to about $2.92 per gallon for regular, which is still reasonable compared to the western states like California that typically always see high prices.
California’s gas stations are currently charging anywhere from $3.09 per gallon to $3.67, which is now the highest-priced gas in America, aside from stations that continue to gouge customers illegally.
Amid all the chaos, people rushed to gas stations to fill up just about anything and everything they could find to horde as much gas as possible. One woman was pictured at the Speedway station in Benson, North Carolina, filling up numerous gas can with gas before stuffing them in the trunk of her little red car. She filled eight gas cans.
Some were so eager to get gas that they were packing cans full of the flammable substance into their vehicles, which seems to be a recipe for disaster. The driver of this Hummer H3 appears to have lit a cigarette upon leaving the gas station, which again was a bad idea.
Things got a little strange in Pittsburg when three men started filling up trashcans full of gas only to sell it to folks later in front of a gas station that was out for $4.99/gal.
The three amigos posted a sign on a makeshift table they set up on the sidewalk, which read “Gas For Sale,” and listed the prices. It appears they were selling premium for $4.86 and diesel for $4.80 per gallon.
In Fisherville, Louisiana, a woman was spotted filling up eight gas cans before putting them inside her vehicle’s hatchback. The woman also put the cans next to what appears to be groceries, which can not be that healthy.
This guy filled up two trash cans with gas and did not even bother to tie them down in the back of his truck.
These two people filled up at least eight cans, which seems to be the magic number, before putting them in their enclosed vehicle. Again, not a very good idea.
WPDE NewsChannel 15 reporter Tonya Brown to a photo of a signposted to a gas pump in Florence, South Carolina that reads “Limit $25.” The station owner reportedly put a limit on the pump to deter customers from overfilling in the time of crisis.
With all commotion, one person listed and sold fuel cans for $30 each or 4 for $100.
Home Depot was selling pallets of gas cans to customers badly in need.
New reports say fuel is flowing at the pumps once again and that the crisis is almost over. The announcement comes after Colonial Pipeline Company paid the 5 million dollar ransom to continue service to customers. Now the only other thing holding back fuel is a shortage of tanker truck drivers.