Just yesterday, four states declared states of emergency. A pipeline leak that spilled about 6,000 barrels of gasoline in rural Alabama means that many nationwide will be seeing higher gas prices shortly. There was another leak on September 9 leak of about 250,000 gallons of fuel from Colonial Pipeline’s line near Helena which has halted the flow of gasoline from the Gulf Coast to the Southeast.
According to Patrick DeHaan, who is a senior petroleum analyst at the gas price-tracking site GasBuddy.com, said prices could rise anywhere between 5 to 20 cents per gallon. “Some stations may run out,” DeHaan said, adding a run at pumps in Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia will “likely compound the problem,” making gas prices higher and leading to less availability.
As Red State Watcher reports:
Residents in multiple southern states were scrambling to fill-up on Friday amid the scare.
On Friday, September 9, 2016, a mining inspector in Shelby County, Ala., detected a gasoline odor on mining property. He alerted Colonial Pipeline, which operates two pipelines in the immediate vicinity. Both pipelines were shut down as a precaution and Colonial employees were dispatched for a visual survey of the site. Upon confirmation of a release, Colonial Pipeline mobilized a coordinated response effort with federal, state and local agencies as well as local emergency responders.
The governor of North Carolina declared the state of emergency to “help ensure that there will be adequate supplies of fuel across the state and prevent excessive fuel pricing.”
Colonial Pipeline issued the following update regarding its ongoing response to a gasoline release in Shelby County, Alabama, and the subsequent interruption of service to Line 1, which transports gasoline from refiners on the Gulf Coast to delivery locations in the Southeast and along the Eastern seaboard.
This afternoon, working in consultation with Unified Command, Colonial Pipeline will begin excavation operations to repair the impacted section of pipe on Line 1. This work will continue throughout the weekend, with Line 1 projected to restart next week. Recovery of gasoline, which remains contained, also continues as safety conditions allow.
In an attempt to reduce the damage, Colonial is shipping gasoline on Line 2 as Line 1 remains interrupted.
Approximately 230,000 of gasoline and water have been recovered as of Friday afternoon, but the presence of explosive vapors is making the cleanup difficult.
“Recovery efforts are continuing 24 hours a day focusing on remediation of contamination and restoration of pipeline services,” the EPA said in a statement.
Colonial Pipeline said Friday it doesn’t expect to fully reopen its primary gasoline pipeline until next week.
Here are some photos posted by those affected:
Gas line outside of the Marathon station. Rumored to be one of the only stations with gas left in Willamson county. pic.twitter.com/Hziaexht3H
— Craig Oaks (@oaktech) September 17, 2016