Nikki Fried reassures Floridians amid looming gas shortages

NIKKI FRIED 1
Gas lines are beginning to form at some stations around North Florida.

A slew of issues including a ransomware attack that shut down a major fuel pipeline servicing the nation’s East Coast may soon disrupt the price and supply of gas in Florida.

Yet despite the looming disruption, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Monday told Floridians not to “panic.”

In a video posted to Twitter, she discouraged Floridians from hoarding gas, buying fuel in a panic and forming long lines around the pump.

Fried said she’s in talks with the EPA, U.S. Department of Energy and the petroleum industry over the shortages.

“In general, Floridians may expect some fuel pricing and sales issues in the coming days due to several factors,” Fried said in a press release. “These include the temporary shutdown of a major U.S. fuel pipeline due to a cyberattack, causing fuel to be trucked in to certain regions, as well as a shortage of truck drivers currently affecting both the fuel industry and agriculture industry.”

The pipeline, operated by Colonial Pipeline, shut down Saturday after a ransomware attack perpetrated by an international organized crime group.

The company provides nearly 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, sparking concern among elected officials and residents alike. The situation, meanwhile, is raising concerns in North Florida where gas lines are beginning to form.

“The longer the pipeline is down, the greater the threat of rising gas prices,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA Florida spokesperson. “If operations are restored on Monday, drivers may see very little to no impact at the pump. A lengthy downtime, like a week, would be a different story.”

Ransomware attacks are typically executed by hackers who compromise a company’s data and demand payment to restore it.

President Joe Biden was briefed on the situation Saturday and the federal government is working with the company to resume operations and avoid disruptions, the White House said. The hack prompted a national declaration of emergency, with states like North Carolina following suit.

The national order, in place until at least June 8, lifts regulations on transporting fuel on alternative routes, allowing more gas to more across state lines by truck in Southern states

As of Monday afternoon, all four of Colonial’s main lines remained offline.

The FBI has attributed the hack as a ransomware attack from Darkside, a Russian online criminal operation.

“The DarkSide ransomware is responsible for the compromise of the Colonial Pipeline networks,” reads an FBI statement. “We continue to work with the company and our government partners on the investigation.”

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.


16 comments

  • Amelia A.

    May 10, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you for this article. Let’s hope this doesn’t become the toilet paper of 2020. Please don’t panic.

  • Nate

    May 10, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Yeah, Biden has the cognitive capabilities to understand let alone to make a decision. Good grief.

  • Artwork

    May 10, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Glad to see that Nikki took time away from her gubernatorial campaign to kinda do her job for once. Refreshing.

    • andrew sanders

      May 11, 2021 at 12:27 pm

      Maybe Desantis will do the same? No he is too busy flying around the state patting himself on the back while people are dying in the ICU

      • Ed Conrad

        May 11, 2021 at 5:30 pm

        Let me guess, you voted for Andrew Gillum last cycle and would vote for him again if he was the “D” nominee.

      • DM

        May 14, 2021 at 8:41 am

        Methinks your head is up your anal cavity…but then again…as a communist it always is.

    • M M

      May 12, 2021 at 12:36 pm

      She works harder than most Americas and has her eye on every aspect of the State of Florida. She cares!
      All political figures are forced to declare intentions for future options. I dont hear you crying about anyone else not doing their job while politic fund raising, etc.

  • Frank

    May 11, 2021 at 12:12 am

    Well, already Uber drivers in my area are out of gas. We already have a shortage and she’s telling us “everything is all right”. Even if panic created the shortage, she is an idiot who needs to act upon facts instead of well wishing.

    • DM

      May 14, 2021 at 8:40 am

      So…like liberals have been for the past 20 years ….she’s probably a closet liberal.

  • Chuck

    May 11, 2021 at 6:22 am

    Nikki: “Me, somone pay attention to meeeeeeee!”

    • Ed Conrad

      May 11, 2021 at 5:33 pm

      Poor Nancy Pelosi Jr (Nikki Fried). She is trying to remain relevant even though she can no longer use gas pump inspection stickers to further her political ambitions. She should move to California. She would stand a chance out there.

  • zhombre

    May 11, 2021 at 7:16 am

    Terrible mistake to elect any Democrat to statewide office in Florida. I hope this is corrected next election.

    • James wilso

      May 11, 2021 at 8:59 am

      So the democrats are “stealing” gas as well as elections?

      • zhombre

        May 11, 2021 at 10:33 am

        Didn’t say anything was stolen. Neither gasoline nor election for Florida Ag Commissioner. Try again, troll.

        • Ruben

          May 11, 2021 at 9:59 pm

          😂

  • DM

    May 14, 2021 at 8:39 am

    Biden is not my president…fraud is the only reason he ‘won’…and his brain is that of a slug that’s been dead 3 days.

    liberals..a waste of time and space.

Comments are closed.


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