Party at the Pumps: After Explosion, Gasoline Flows Again to the East Coast

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
party at the pumps after explosion gasoline flows again to the east coast

America’s largest gasoline pipeline returned to operational status today after an explosion in Alabama six days ago killed one worker and injured five others.

Following repair delays caused by an interior fire, Colonial Pipeline Company announced that its Line 1 pipeline was restarted early Sunday morning. However, it will take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal. The same goes for pump prices.

Southerners between Texas and South Carolina can expect to see resupply in a day, while North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland will have to wait an extra 24 hours. Meanwhile, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey will see fuel returning sometime midweek.

Pump prices are expected to quickly return to normal, and the increases proved less severe than when the same pipeline sprung a leak back in September.

WSB-TV reports Atlanta as the hardest hit, with some prices 14 cents above the slightly elevated Georgia average over the weekend. South Carolina saw fuel up an extra two cents from last week, and it was roughly a penny more in Tennessee. However, according to GasBuddy, the September’s leak saw an immediate elevation of 12.3 cents at the end of the line in New Jersey.

In contrast to the leak, workers were present during the explosion and Colonial responded immediately. Last month, Line 1 saw roughly 250,000 gallons leak before anyone become aware of the issue.

The September leak also came at a time when supplies were already limited. Refineries were in the midst of switching to winter fuel blends and entering maintenance season, Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service, told CNBC.

Colonial’s Line 1 transports more than 100 million gallons of fuel daily between Houston and New York City and serves more than 50 million people.

The National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the explosion, while the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is still investigating the cause of the September leak.

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4 of 23 comments
  • MazdaThreeve MazdaThreeve on Nov 07, 2016

    Isn't the Department of Homeland Security supposed to be involved in this sort of thing? Such an obvious weak point--our fuel infrastructure--can't be going unnoticed by the terrorists, whom we were told are around every corner.

    • See 1 previous
    • MazdaThreeve MazdaThreeve on Nov 07, 2016

      I'll take comfort in knowing my wife will get frisked at the airport while thousands of miles of pipeline apparently go without redundancy.

  • FormerFF FormerFF on Nov 08, 2016

    I'm in N. metro Atlanta. My wife went to the local QuikTrip to fill up yesterday, they did have 87 octane, but were out of the other two grades. If there's any sort of supply disruption it's usually QuikTrip that has problems, I get the impression they run their inventories pretty lean.

  • FreedMike I don't know why this dash shocks anyone - the whole "touchscreen uber alles" thing is pure Tesla.
  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.