Running On Empty: How Americans Have Dealt With the Current Oil Crisis

People have found many creative ways to fill up their tank, and people are panicking

Ben Wychulis

Currently in America, there are major gas shortages that are spanning throughout the southern and eastern portions of the United States. In late April and early May, there was a cyber attack that caused the Colonial Pipeline to shut down. The pipeline is the largest in the Unites States, and it spans from Texas to New York. It was one of the most major and successful cyber attacks in history, and here is how Americans had to cope with the gas shortage.

A desperate person filling up gas cans

The hardest hit areas in the country were Atlanta, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. In Atlanta, 60% of gas stations were without gas, 65% of all stations in North Carolina were empty, and 43% in South Carolina were also empty, according to tracking firm GasBuddy. It is also a bad time to own gas stock, as companies like Chevron and Exxon Mobil are down over 6% since May 7th. This all comes after current president Joe Biden took away the permit that would have finished construction on the Keystone Pipeline. The gas/oil industry knew that a Biden administration would not be in their favor, and the hack on the Colonial Pipeline only added to their myriad of issues.

People panic buying gas filling up numerous cans for their car

Currently in the United States, the national average price for gas is $3.00 a gallon, the highest since 2014. In many parts of the country, people are stashing gas into their car, almost like the toilet paper crisis at the start of the pandemic. In Virginia, it was spotted people were guzzling their gas into plastic water bottles! DHS Sophomore Braden Schenk said, “it is crazy and funny to see all the ways people have gotten their gas, because some are pretty insane.” Throughout the country, people have also been putting gas into plastic bins and containers. The problem with all the panic buying especially when there is a shortage of something; just like the start of the pandemic with toilet paper and Clorox wipes, when people buy so much of something that’s so little, they do not save the rest for everyone else and it just creates more and more panic.

Signs around the country just like this have been put up warning people there is no gas left (Chris Carlson)

This is not the first time America has gone through a gas shortage, as during the Iranian revolution there was a major crisis. Iran was one of the main suppliers of gas for the US, and because of the revolution they could not ship it out here. The same situation of gas stations being empty and signs reading “no gas” happened back then, and that is happening now. Now as we move into early-June the crisis seems to be coming towards a close. Gas stations now have gas again, and DHS Sophomore Charlie Salmore said, “it was pretty crazy seeing all of these gas stations out of gas, and it was also funny seeing all the creative ways people got gas.” There were definitely very entertaining ways people got their gas, whether they filled plastic bins up with gas or water bottles, people were very desperate. DHS Sophomore Henry Imborgno said, “It reminded me of in the pandemic all the crazy ways people would wear masks or stock up on supplies.”

Some person actually put their gas into plastic bags (Buzzfeed)

This was definitely a big scare for Americans and the government, who will now be much more careful when it comes to protecting our vital pipelines from cyberattacks.