Roswell business owners are feeling the brunt of the effects of gasoline hoarding following the hacking of the Colonial Pipeline.
Headquartered in Alpharetta, Colonial Pipeline is the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S. According the the FBI, the pipeline was hacked by a group thought to be located in Eastern Europe, known as DarkSide. Colonial became aware of the attack and shut down its operations, causing a shortage across the southeast.
The shortage led to many people panic-buying and hoarding gas. Photos have gone viral of people filling up tubs, trash bins and other containers with gas. Now, several local business owners are worried about the affects of the hoarding. Ryan Pernice, RO Hospitality founder and owner of Table and Main, Osteria Mattone and Coalition Food and Beverage, said his business is already feeling the stress of the shortage.
“We have experienced some employees expressing difficulty getting to work due to the gas shortage,” Pernice said. “Roswell has a dearth of affordable workforce housing, so many of our employees drive long distances to get here. This gas shortage has certainly made that situation more difficult.”
The Peach and the Porkchop owner Chuck Stanley said they have already had large parties cancel their reservations for this weekend because they were driving in from out of town. Staff is very worried about it, Stanley said, and the restaurant has already been short staffed.
Big Oak Tavern owner Nate Armstrong said they are worried about the shortage as well.
“Short on staffing has been the major issue for the last month or two,” Armstrong said. “And this gas shortage isn’t helping! I haven’t had call outs yet, but staff are hesitant about driving in and if this doesn’t get fixed soon, as in this weekend, I can see it becoming a much bigger problem!”
Gate City Brewing Company co-owner Pat Rains and From the Earth Brewing Company owner Tim Stevens say they have not yet had any negative affects from the gas hoarding, but are working with their employees. Rains said many of his employees are helping each other find places to get gas, and Stevens has offered to help get his employees to work.
According to AAA, the average price in metro Atlanta for a gallon of gas soared 11 cents from May 10 to May 11. As part of an executive order signed by Gov. Brian Kemp this week, gas stations are prohibited from charging more for fuel than before the order went into effect, “unless the increased prices accurately reflect an increase in the cost of new stock or the cost to transport it,” plus the average retail markup in the 10 days prior to the state of emergency.
According to the the National Association of Convenience Stores, trucks carrying emergency fuel shipments are bound for metro Atlanta.