12 May, 2021 by Erich Dunkelberger

Last Friday, most of us became aware that the computers for Colonial Pipeline were hacked by ransomware and the company shut down those computers, effectively shutting down the flow of approximately 45% of gasoline along the East Coast. Authorities began investigating, of course. Colonial Pipeline hired an independent cyber-security group to look into the matter.

Over the week-end, Joe Biden make the statement that there was no gas shortage and that prices were not going up in an effort to calm everyone. Okay, I guess it’s true there’s no shortage; it just can’t get to the gas pumps and, ultimately, the tanks of people who need gas to get to work or the grocery story, etc. On the price comment, around here, gas prices have gone up around 50 cents per gallon since 20 January. On Tuesday of this week, it rose another 30 cents in a matter of minutes.

Tuesday evening, I was doing some errands. I was going to need to get gas soon, so I decided to go ahead and fill up the tank. The first couple of places I went, there were long lines, so I went on looking. Driving the main drag of my town, everywhere I looked, there were lines, so I just pulled into line and waited. When I finally got to the pump, I saw the regular gas button had signs on them, saying out. Well, not wanting to pay the premium gas price (yet), I went on. The next station had lines and regular gas, so I waited again. Finally, I got my gas. During my efforts, I saw a lot of craziness and hope it doesn’t get worse.

I remember the gas shortages in the early 70’s. I remember the long lines. I remember those who thought they were too important to wait in line cut in front of someone else. I remember fights. I remember the “even-odd ” days where your license plate told what day you could fill up. I remember only being able to get $10 worth of gas. We’re not there yet!

Currently, one in four gas stations are out of gas in North Carolina. I’m hearing that South Carolina is in the same situation, judging by the Myrtle Beach area. Colonial Pipeline is hoping to start their computers by the end of the week. We’ll see!

The FBI says they know who is responsible, a group out of Russia. It seems they love to blame Russia. In a twist, Colonial Pipeline is still relying on the company they hired to provide answers about the ransomware. Colonial Pipeline and the cybersecurity company are keeping things close to their vests! Apparently, they don’t want to put all their eggs in the FBI basket.

I don’t blame them. There’s a lot going on right now. This would make a great diversion. There’s the full audit on the election going on in Arizona. Several other states are working toward the same goal. There’s a civil war going on in the Middle East. The border crisis continues and all our Vice President can do is stomp out of a meeting with the Mexican President! Out in the world, both China and Iran are flexing their muscles and the Biden Administration is watching.

Things are rough, but, as I said, we’re not at the “70s gas shortage” stage yet. Hopefully, things will get straightened out before it gets crazier and the gas trucks start rolling again. No matter what happens, don’t lose your focus on everything that’s going on!