Colonial Pipeline restarts pipeline, Jennifer Granholm says

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The Colonial Pipeline shutdown, which led to fuel shortages and runs on gas stations in the East, has ended.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm took to Twitter to announce that operations have restarted a week after a cyberattack prompted Colonial to take its systems offline — an announcement the company itself quickly confirmed.

“We just got off the phone with #ColonialPipeline CEO. They are restarting pipeline operations today at ~5pm,” Ms. Granholm wrote about 10 minutes after the hour.

Colonial itself confirmed that it had restarted the pipelines and was working to return things to normal.

The Colonial Pipeline was shut down last week by a ransomware attack, which the Biden administration has blamed on Russians.

The pipeline provides almost half the fossil fuels consumed in the eastern U.S. The cessation of operations caused some gasoline stations to run out, prompting higher prices and panic buying that further worsened the situation

Colonial warned in a Wednesday statement that it would take some time for things to return to normal.

“Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal. Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions during the start-up period,” the company said

But Colonial still vowed to “move as much gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel” as it can safely “until markets return to normal.”

The two ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee added Wednesday that they have “good reason” to hope fuel shortages will be temporary. 

“We learned that while there is good reason to be hopeful that the shortages will be temporary and pipeline deliveries may soon ramp up, there is more we need to do to ensure [Department of Energy] has the tools it needs to prevent these incidents in the future – and minimize their impact if they do,” said Reps. Frank Pallone, New Jersey Democrat and the panel chairman, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington Republican.

“We will continue to work closely with DOE in their efforts to help bring the pipeline back online quickly and safely,” the two lawmakers wrote after being briefed by the Energy Department.

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