Don't buy into the panic...remember what happened with toilet paper?

The Pipeline Hack

You've probably been hearing about it a lot lately, so what exactly happened?

Well, according to Business Insider, Russian ransomware group DarkSide "compromised" or what we all like to refer as "hacked" the Colonial Pipeline, demanding money in the form of cryptocurrency.

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Though their motivations may seem politically-charged, NBC cites a statement from the group saying "they’re an apolitical group, only interested in making money — but seemed to acknowledge that by hampering the fuel industry, they may have crossed a line with the United States that no ransomware gang has crossed before."

The group's statement also said "From today, we introduce moderation and check each company that our partners want to encrypt to avoid social consequences in the future."

So what I'm gathering here is they thought they could finagle some Dogecoin and didn't anticipate that an attack on one of the main pipelines for fuel in the U.S. would cause some problems...I mean, they sound trustworthy enough, right?

The Consequences (Aside From Just The Hackers)

FOX 47, citing information from GasBuddy, reports the Colonial Pipeline is responsible for delivering around 45% of the gas supply to southeast states like Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi.

While the pipeline was shut down due to the attack, the company is is working to bring it all back online but for now, GasBuddy says there is no reason to panic.

Of course, they say the longer this is a problem, the more it will affect those in the states most dependent on the pipeline and even once the line restarts, it will take a hot minute for normalcy to resume.

What This Means For Michigan

Take a breath, FOX 47 says we are "not likely" to see any major effects of this here in the Mitten.

While gas prices have noticeably rising here as it is, being that we are not one of the states most directly hit, we still may notice a slight rise in the cost of fuel...but by no means should we go out and start panic-buying or hoarding...again, remember the toilet paper.

That being said, GasBuddy (via FOX 47) also warns that people rushing out to fill up or hoard gas could prolong price spikes and shortages.

"It is true that if the pipeline remains out of service into the early part of next week, roughly Tuesday or so, that some gas stations may run low on gasoline," GasBuddy said. "Tank farms that take the gasoline from the pipeline are likely starting to see supply run low, so it is vital that motorists do not overwhelm the system by filling their tanks."

According to FOX 47, GasBuddy predicts if there are any spikes, while hard to pinpoint an exact amount, they say "it appears to be a few cents per gallon."

While we worry about gas prices now, let's see how much they've changed over the years:

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