INDIANAPOLIS — There’s no shortage of gasoline in Indiana but rising prices have Hoosier consumers concerned one could be heading our way.
The shortage of fuel to the southeastern United States was caused by a cyberattack to the largest U.S. fuel pipeline which halted operations.
The issue was exacerbated by consumers clamoring at the pumps – stocking up on gas that, according to the Executive Director of Indiana Food and Fuel Association Scot Imus says was never in short supply.
“The best way to have a shortage of fuel really, is to have everybody go out and buy gasoline at the same time,” Imus said. “They are experiencing problems in the southeast… however, the problem is made far worse when people are panicking and doing the buying that they are.”
There is no reason to panic here in Indiana, any of the Midwest states for that matter argues Imus. Why then are prices rising?
“It has nothing to do with the Colonial Pipeline, traditionally we see it every springtime – but it’s a little bit later this year,” Imus said. “There is a cost in that turnover and that happens in the springtime going into summer, right before Memorial Day.”
Hoosiers are still hurting at the pump regardless, and many hope prices stay where they are… or go down soon.
“Man, it sucks that the prices are going up, but I mean it’s one of those things where it’s like… up here like, you gotta have it,” Larry Williams said. “Gotta get from A to B and you gotta have gas to get that point.”
Imus says it’s simple economics, with more people buying gas, the less of the product remains.
“It’s very similar to what consumers did during the start of the COVID when everyone went to buy toilet paper,” Imus said. “There’s no reason for people to be buying extra gasoline in Indiana today – or in the foreseeable future.”
There is a chance that the pipeline which services Indiana could also be victim to a Ransomware attack, but Imus said it’s not likely.
“There always is that fear – I mean we’re in this type of world now where we have to guard against that,” Imus said. “Right now, supply is plentiful.”
Colonial hopes to have their pipeline systems fully operational again by the end of the week. Imus believes if that happens, things will return to normal quickly.
“It won’t take long to recover from this,” Imus said. “And as far as we’re concerned, if you’re running out and buying gas in Indiana particularly if you’re waiting in long lines… there’s absolutely no reason for you to be doing that. Spend your time elsewhere. You know, enjoy the nice weather cause we don’t have a supply issue here in Indiana.”