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After pipeline attack, Kemp suspends fuel tax as S.C. fights price-gouging

Watch News 12 this afternoon and tonight: What’s the impact of gas pipeline hack in the CSRA?
Published: May. 11, 2021 at 11:25 AM EDT|Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 1:49 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Leaders in the two-state region are responding to the disruption in the gasoline market caused by a hacker ransom attack on a key pipeline that serves the East Coast.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order to temporarily suspend the gas tax in the Peach State after the cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline.

And South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson took steps to prevent price gouging.

The operator of the Colonial Pipeline said it hopes to have services mostly restored by the end of the week as the FBI and administration officials identified the culprits as a gang of criminal hackers.

Under Kemp’s order, Georgia will temporarily increase the weight limits for trucks transporting fuel, providing more supply for stations as they receive deliveries. The order further prohibits price gouging by bad actors looking to exploit the situation.

Cars line up to fuel up on May 11, 2021, at the Costco in Augusta.
Cars line up to fuel up on May 11, 2021, at the Costco in Augusta.(WRDW)

“We expect these measures to be temporary as Colonial plans to be fully up and running later this week. 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,” Kemp said in a news release.

Meanwhile, Wilson declared an abnormal disruption in the market, which put South Carolina’s price-gouging statute in effect.

“I’m urging everyone to be careful and be patient,” Wilson said. “We hope this gas shortage will last just a few days, but we must be wary of individuals looking to unfairly take advantage of the situation through price gouging. According to state law, price gouging constitutes a criminal violation and an unfair trade practice.

He said anyone who sees proce gouging should email any examples to pricegouging@scag.gov, go to www.scag.gov to fill out a form to report price gouging or call 803-737-3953.

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