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Biden says expect good news in 24 hours on Colonial Pipeline

Biden says expect good news in 24 hours on Colonial Pipeline

May 14, 2021: -On Wednesday, President Joe Biden said he anticipates good news “in the next 24 hours” on the ongoing Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack with disabled fuel deliveries up and down the East Coast in recent days.

“We have been in a very close contact with Colonial Pipeline, which is one of the reasons gasoline prices are going up,” Biden said on Wednesday.

“I think you’re going to hear some good news in 24 hours. And I think we’ll be getting that under control.”

The remarks came as Americans in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic faced fuel shortages at the pump starting on Monday, which showed little sign of abating by Wednesday afternoon. Panic buying in some states was exacerbating the supply chain issues.

“I have in the meantime made it easier for us to have lifted some of the restrictions on the transportation of fuel, and access to the U.S.  military providing fuel, and with vehicles to get it there, places where it’s badly needed,” said Biden.

The administration said Tuesday it would direct a “comprehensive federal response” to restore and secure U.S. energy supply chains.

The assault forced the company to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline, leading to a disruption of nearly half of the nation’s East Coast fuel supply.

The attack on Colonial Pipeline has been traced back to a hacker group called the DarkSide, an organized group of hackers set up along the “ransomware as a service” business model. This means the DarkSide hackers develop and market ransomware hacking tools and sell them to other criminals who carry out attacks.

On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to answer specific questions about how Colonial Pipeline and the Biden administration are collaborating but said the company and the relevant agencies are in close cooperation.

The Department of Energy leads the federal government to coordinate with the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense. A spokeswoman for FireEye Mandiant confirmed to CNBC that the U.S. cybersecurity firm worked with Colonial Pipeline after the incident.

According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline jumped to $2.985 Tuesday, an increase of 6 cents in the past week.

A rise of 3 more cents per gallon would put the average U.S. selling price at the highest level since November 2014.

“We are seeing the full-fledged panic at the moment in some of the places I suspected we might see it,” said Tom Kloza, head of global energy analysis at OPIS. “There aren’t enough drivers to take trucks from terminals that have gasoline to stations. We are seeing a lot of stations running out. Georgia seems to be ground zero.” Gasoline in the pipeline travels at just 5 miles per hour.

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