Pipeline spill affecting state gas prices but could we see shortage?

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been nearly two weeks since the Colonial Pipeline in Alabama spilled and shortened the supply of gasoline across the country. About 40 percent of the gas in the state comes from the pipeline and while stations haven’t reported shortages yet, some drivers aren’t taking any chances.

“Filling up my gas cans just in case, you never know,” said driver Bobby Maxwell.

Maxwell says he drives around one thousand miles every week for work.

“I’ve been doing this for 17 years and we’ve never had a pipeline issue such as this.”

“I’m in sales, so I’m filling the tank up quite a bit,” said Maxwell.

He says the price increase has hurt but a shortage will hurt even more which is why he’s filled gas cans and plans on storing them in his garage.

“We’re a small business, so it affects us quite a bit,” said Maxwell.

“I’ve been doing this for 17 years and we’ve never had a pipeline issue such as this,” said Michael O’Connor with the Virginia Petroleum Convenience and Grocery Association. He says the spill has affected other states.

“In some other states, Tennessee, and North Carolina, they have had some shortages,” said O’Connor.

But Virginia has avoided shortages for now. He says thanks in part to the governor’s executive order allowing fuel truck drivers more time to be on the roads. But O’Connor admits Virginia is not in the clear yet.

“We should be ok but in anything like this when you have a supply interruption it is cause for concern.”

He says it will depend on Colonial and its ability to fix the problem which will determine the future of the state’s gas supply.

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