AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- In light of a leak on Colonial Pipeline, which carries fuel from Houston to New Jersey, Gov. Nathan Deal has signed two executive orders– one that lifts restrictions on the hours truckers can drive, and one to prevent price-gauging.
Several stations in the CSRA have run out of gas, but many are also operating normally and receiving shipments. As gas stations’ fuel levels are constantly changing, either receiving new shipments or running low or empty, their statuses can change quickly and are difficult to track. Gov. Deal says the best thing drivers can do right now is carrying on with normal levels of gas consumption and travel.
The Colonial Pipeline system transports about 2.66 million barrels of fuel each day in two pipes, so when one of those pipes was shut down after a leak was detected, the areas that get gas from that pipe, including the CSRA, were affected.
“I work in Georgia and I read about, I hear about, the gas problem…the pipeline in Alabama,” said JP Chateauneuf. “So I cross the river to fill up my tank here, and hopefully that’ll be okay for the next week or something.”
There is still plenty of oil– the problem is getting it to gas stations while the Colonial pipeline is operating at half its usual capacity. Which explains why it may seem like half the gas stations in area are out of gas.
“They don’t have gas at the Shell station, so we wind up going about .3 miles or [point] four miles down the highway to BP. And they got gas,” said Elaine Steward, who stopped at a North Augusta, SC gas station on the was to Louisiana from Myrtle Beach, SC.
To remedy the transportation lag, Governors Deal and Haley both lifted federal regulations that limit the hours truckers can drive so gas trucks can keep delivering stations round the clock. Governor Deal took it a step further. He issued another order Monday morning to prevent price gauging at the pump.
“I thought the prices might be a little bit higher than they were,” said Kenneth Sanders. “Some people gauge this time. But it was like $2.07. It’s a little higher than normal, but it wasn’t bad.”
Governor Deal is advising the public to carry on an usual– just maintain regular consumption levels and travel levels.
Some people we spoke to say they had to travel to several stations to find one with gas Monday, but in the end, they were able to fill up.
“No big deal,” Sanders said. “Minor inconvenience, but I didn’t sweat it.”