Gov. Roy Cooper declares state of emergency as state, East Coast faces fuel shortage

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Ansley Puckett, Managing Editor

In an executive order Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for North Carolina in response to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. 

On May 9, the Colonial Pipeline reported a ransomware cyber-attack resulting in the shutdown of the pipeline and a fuel shortage across the state. 

The pipeline is the largest pipeline system for refined oil products in the U.S. and the primary fuel pipeline for North Carolina.

The order also temporarily suspends motor vehicle fuel regulations to ensure fuel is evenly distributed throughout the state. 

“Today’s emergency declaration will help North Carolina prepare for any potential motor vehicle fuel supply interruptions across the state and ensure motorists are able to have access to fuel,” according to Executive Order No. 213.

 

According to the order, the interruption threatens public welfare, and Cooper encourages citizens to report price gouging and resist topping off their tanks. 

The operators of the pipeline said in a statement Tuesday that pipeline employees are working “around the clock” to return the system to operation.