Gov. Brian Kemp temporarily suspended the gas tax in Georgia in the wake of last week’s Colonial Pipeline cyberattack that has created panic buying at the pumps.
Kemp’s executive order, announced Tuesday, further bans price gouging in the crisis. It also increases the weight limits for trucks transporting fuel, providing more supply for stations as they receive deliveries.
“My office has been in close contact with company and industry officials since we first learned of the Colonial cyber attack over the weekend,” Kemp said in a May 11 press release.
“Unfortunately, extensive media coverage has caused people to panic, which has resulted in higher gas prices. We are taking action to relieve some of the cost burden from Georgians as Colonial recovers.”
Colonial plans to be fully up and running later this week, the governor said.
“There is no need to rush to the gas station to fill up every tank you have and hoard gas. With the measures we have taken today, I am hopeful we can get more supply to stations and get through to this weekend, when we hope Colonial will return to normal."
Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, halted operations last week after revealing a ransomware attack that it said had affected some of its systems.
The company said Monday, May 10, it was working toward “substantially restoring operational service” by the weekend.
The White House said in a statement late Monday that it was monitoring supply shortages in parts of the Southeast and that President Joe Biden had directed federal agencies to bring their resources to bear.
Private organizations monitoring the situation include Gasbuddy and AAA, which are providing users with updates.
“This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally,” according to an AAA news release on Monday. “Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the East Coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases.”
The Associated Press contributed.