Commissioner says there is no gas shortage in Lawrence County

Published 3:24 pm Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Lawrence County Commission President DeAnna Holliday assured county residents on Wednesday that there are no gasoline shortages locally.

Following a cyber attack on Friday of computer systems for the Colonial Pipeline, which provides half of the fuel for the east coast, there were reports this week of lines at pumps in the southeast and more than 1,000 stations said they ran out of fuel, due to panic buying from the public.

Holliday has a background in the business, owning Holliday Quick Stop on State Route 243 and a fuel distribution business, which supplies wholesale to most stations in the county, as well as businesses and farms.

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When contacted by The Ironton Tribune on Wednesday, she said fuel for the county comes from the Marathon Refinery in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, and that there were no issues there.

“There is no indication of a shortage or that there is going to be one on the horizon,” she said. “We are secure in terms of fuel.”

Holliday said she had heard concerns because of reports of the situation on the coast.

She said reports from other areas, reported in the national news, can create a false perception that there is a crisis locally.

In Coal Grove on Wednesday afternoon, prices remained essentially the same as they had been for the past week, while there were no lines at gas pumps.

Holliday said, in her role as a commissioner, they are working with local businesses to make sure that there are no ripple effects in the local economy from the east coast situation.

She said there may be a slight increase locally in gasoline in coming weeks, but this is due to summer travel, is typical of the season and will be nothing out of the ordinary.

“We want to assure everyone at this time there is not a problem with the supply,” she said.

Hackers demanded a ransom to release the Colonial Pipeline’s computer system after locking them up.

A large part of the pipeline resumed operations manually late Monday, and Colonial anticipates restarting most of its operations by the end of the week, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.

— The Associated Press contributed to this story