Pipeline cyberattack causes gas price hike across Delaware Valley

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Many drivers around the Delaware Valley are experiencing sticker shock when they get to the pump.

"I think it's crazy," said Mike Haggard.

Friday's cybersecurity attack that took the Colonial Pipeline offline indefinitely is leading to gas price inflation.

The pipeline spans more than 5,500 miles, from Houston, Texas to Linden, New Jersey. It supplies 45% of the east coast's fuel supply.

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The operator of a major pipeline system that transports fuel across the East Coast said Saturday that it had been victimized by a ransomware attack and that it had halted all pipeline operations to deal with the threat.

"We're looking at a price jump anywhere from three to six cents likely to happen this week," said Jana Tidwell, a spokesperson for AAA. "But these are temporary increases."

The tri-state area ranks among the highest in the country for its increase in gas prices. Delaware up 10 cents per gallon, New Jersey eight cents per gallon and Pennsylvania seven cents per gallon.

Tidwell said the increase in gas prices has a direct correlation to how long the pipeline is shut down. The longer it's down, the more you'll pay.

"I think we're going to buy the gas whatever price it is because we got to go," said Gilbert Bruton.

Small business owners said they don't have a choice, but the upward pressure at the pump is bad for their bottom line.

"We have 25 service trucks probably a quarter to a third of them are diesel and we're spending well in excess of 100 thousand dollars a year in fuel," said Nick Osten-Sacken, vice president of Precision Sewer Services. "If we can't absorb it, we have to pass it on to the consumer."

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Millions of people stuck at home for more than a year are expected to hit the road for much-needed post-pandemic vacations this summer. Good luck finding gas.

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