Twitter hashtag highlights pipeline shutdown


Famartin, Wikimedia Commons

A gas station in Fairfax County, Virginia is closed on May 15 due to the gas shortage.

Kelsey Mize, Guest Writer

Last week, Twitter introduced the hashtag #GasShortage2021 as a way to spread awareness on the Colonial Pipeline issue in the United States.

According to the Washington Post, the problem started by “the ransomware attack on the systems of Colonial Pipeline that led the company to shut down its pipeline connecting Texas to New Jersey, then by a panic that led drivers to fill up out of fear the country could run out of gas.”

Mainly east Coast states are being affected by the pipeline shutdown. Gabriela Miranda and Asha C. Gilbert of USA Today wrote, “Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia may be more heavily affected because they have limited options in terms of fuel transportation alternatives. The Colonial Pipeline system delivers about 45% of the fuel for the east Coast, uncoupling gasoline and jet fuel.”

Fox 5 news reporter Rob Desir (@Rob_Desir) sheds light on how hard it has been for citizens to attain gas in Maryland. He wrote, “With gas shortage on the rise in the #dmv, people are doing what they have to do, however they have to do it to find gas! This guy pulled up to a gas station in Rockville, MD on a riding lawnmower, with a trailer carrying two tanks to fill!”

Being a resident of one of the most affected states, news reporter for WUSA-TV, Evan Koslof (@ekoslof), shows a picture of his car being filled with gas after trying to find a usable pump. He wrote, “Found gas! The BP at 7000 Blair Rd NW in DC. Where else are you finding gas?”

Even with the burden of high-priced and inaccessible fuel, people like Mitch Rossell (@Mitch_Rossell) are trying their best to make light of the situation. The musical artist tweeted a video of him singing his gas shortage song, “Bet you’ve never heard this version of ‘Sold’ by John Michael Montgomery.”

Another post by CowetaScore (@CowetaScore), a youth sports website in Georgia, makes a humorous connection to the toilet paper shortage during the peak of COVID-19 and the gas shortage. They showed a picture of a person pushing a cart-filled with toilet paper and then another of people putting huge gas cans into the back of their car. The tweet says, “We still haven’t learned, have we? Last year / this year.”

As the gas shortage has been and still occurs as a great problem, the restoration of the pipeline is in full swing. United States Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm), brings news of reconstruction of the pump but advises people to be patient for its full recovery.

She tweeted, “While it’s a great relief that #ColonialPipeline Company is resuming full operations, this isn’t like flipping a switch. Gas is flowing, the end is in sight and things should go back to normal within days. Report price gouging. Don’t hoard gasoline.”