Feds Warn Against Hoarding Gasoline in Plastic Bags

GasBuddy app buckles under demand
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2021 1:49 PM CDT
Feds Warn Against Hoarding Gasoline in Plastic Bags
Gas customers swarm a COSTCO gas station amid fears of a gas shortage in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, May 11, 2021.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The government says there's no need for Americans to be hoarding gasoline—especially not if they're going to be putting it in plastic bags. "Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline," the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a tweet Wednesday. Other tweets urged consumers to only use approved containers for fuel and to never pour gasoline near an open flame. Snopes notes, however, that images and videos of gas in plastic bags that are currently widely circulating were taken years before this week's panic buying, which has caused many stations in the Southeast to run out of fuel. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg urged Americans Wednesday to "be sensible and safe," saying "hoarding does not make things better," CNN reports.

Buttigieg also told reporters that he "hadn't heard anything" about a rumor that the government is planning to take control of the Colonial Pipeline to restore service following Friday's cyberattack on the vital fuel artery. With hundreds of East Coast stations out of gas, GasBuddy, an app originally designed to help consumers find the cheapest gas, has exploded in popularity thanks to a crowdsourced tracker feature that shows which stations still have fuel, USA Today reports. The app went down for a few hours Wednesday amid record demand. CBS17 reports that according to GasBuddy, 65% of stations in North Carolina were out of gas as of early Wednesday afternoon. For Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina, the figure was 42%. (The shortage resulted in a brawl at one NC station Tuesday.)

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