Officials have a message for people who are pouring gasoline into plastic bags amid a shortage of gas in the southeastern states. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission went to Twitter to say, "Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline." The shortage comes after a hack of the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies 45% of the East Coast's total fuel, by a criminal group from Russia.
"We know this sounds simple, but when people get desperate they stop thinking clearly," the commission added. "They take risks that can have deadly consequences. If you know someone who is thinking about bringing a container not meant for fuel to get gas, please let them know it's dangerous." The commission then stated that people should never pour gasoline over or near an open flame.
This week, there have been social media posts that show people waiting in long lines to get gasoline. There is one tweet that shows a woman pouring gas into a plastic bag, which suggested that panicked customers were pouring gas into bags. However, Snopes discovered the post and another one like it was several years old. That didn't stop the Consumer Product Safety Commission from sending the warning.
There is a concern about people hoarding gas, which has led to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sending a message to people who are concerned. "This is a time to be sensible and to be safe," Buttigieg said. "Of course, we understand the concern in the areas where people are encountering temporary supply disruptions, but hoarding does not make things better. Under no circumstances should gasoline ever be put into anything but a vehicle directly or an approved container, and that of course, remains true no matter what else is going on."
President Joe Biden recently spoke on the gas shortage and said the Russian government wasn't involved in the Colonial Pipeline attack. He said: “But we do have strong reason to believe that the criminals who did the attack are living in Russia. … We have been in direct communications with Moscow about the imperative for responsible countries to take decisive action against these ransomware networks. We're also going to pursue a measure to disrupt their ability to operate. And our Justice Department has launched a new task force dedicated to prosecuting ransomware attackers to the full extent of the law,” The Colonial Pipeline is back in action after being shut down for six days. But according to CNN, the gas shortages could linger for few days before things get back to normal.