Fear of a gas shortage on the east coast of the U.S. has resulted in an actual gas shortage in some areas after news of a cyberattack on a major fuel pipeline sent people scrambling to the pumps. The attack caused a minor disruption in the Colonial Pipeline, which controls about half of the eastern states’ gasoline and diesel supply. This did not actually result in anything that could be called a shortage until people started panic buying the stuff.

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Now, photos and videos abound of people packing their SUVs full of gasoline tanks, people pumping fuel into buckets, bins, trash cans, and literal plastic bags, as well as massive lines and the resulting soar in gas prices. There have even been a couple of physical fights over gas caught on video already.

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It got so bad over the past couple of days, with panic-buying reaching all the way to Texas, that Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm had to release an official statement begging people to stop hoarding fuel.

“Let me emphasize that much as there was no cause for say, hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, there should be no cause for hoarding gasoline, especially in light of the fact that the pipeline should be substantially operational by the end of this week and over the weekend,” she said.

Unfortunately, as with the panic-buying that occurred at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the more people are seen hoarding all the products essential to everyday living, the more others want to follow suit, fearing a time when all the gas is gone and their own tank is empty. In spite of warnings and assurances that the pipeline will be fine, evidence of hoarding continues to appear online for us all to get annoyed about.

Anyway, here’s a whole list of that evidence as a cautionary reminder to resist the urge to hoard. Also, please, please do not store gasoline in plastic bags, even if you double-bag it.

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*First Published: May 12, 2021, 1:14 pm