Should you worry about gasoline supply in York County?

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Michel Rosman of Reisterstown, Md., fills the tank on his Kawasaki motorcycle while taking a recreational ride Sunday, May 16, 2021. He stopped at the Tom's at Shrewsbury Exit 4 on Interstate 83. Bill Kalina photo

York County residents don't have to worry about a gasoline shortage, even as pictures on the internet show people hoarding fuel in containers and garbage bags.

Panic-buying erupted last week after gas stations from Texas through the Southeast faced significant outages when the Colonial Pipeline shut down to limit damage from a ransomware attack.

Pennsylvania, however, was not affected, industry experts said.

“You guys have been fine,” said Allison Mac, an analyst for GasBuddy, “We’re not even tracking Pennsylvania when it comes to shortages.”

The operator of the pipeline, which runs along the eastern border of Pennsylvania, has since paid roughly $5 million to recover stolen data, according to The New York Times.

Although Pennsylvania isn't affected, local panic-buying likely could still be an issue, Mac said.

For example, 88% of Washington, D.C.'s gas stations are without fuel, Mac said Friday. Additionally, 39% of Maryland's gas stations are without fuel.

Tony Jones of Owings Mills, Md., fills the tank on his Acura SUV at the Tom's at Shrewsbury Exit 4 of Interstate 83 Sunday, May 16, 2021. He said he often comes to the convenience to stock up on items while getting gas. Bill Kalina photo

Out-of-state buyers are "certainly" coming into Pennsylvania to purchase gas, although it likely won't strain the supply, Mac said.

The operators of Pennsylvania-based gas stations such as Sheetz have also dismissed concerns about gas shortages in the state.

"The Colonial Pipeline does not supply fuel to Pennsylvania and therefore did not cause supply disruptions; however, we expect the restarting of pipeline operations will calm drivers’ anxieties," said Executive Vice President Adam Sheetz.

Despite Pennsylvania not suffering from shortages, price increases remain an issue —although the increases are normal for this time of year, Mac said.

That's because in the summer, suppliers switch to summer gasoline blends intended to reduce the chance of evaporation. The summer blend can cost up to 15 cents a gallon more, according to GasBuddy.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.