Pete 'Pothole' Buttigieg Doesn't Know if More Pipelines Are Necessary as East Coast Gas Pumps Run Dry

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Posted: May 12, 2021 2:00 PM
Pete 'Pothole' Buttigieg Doesn't Know if More Pipelines Are Necessary as East Coast Gas Pumps Run Dry

Source: AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Answering questions at the White House during Wednesday's press briefing, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg did little to assuage concerns of the American people as gas runs out at stations along the east coast. 

Despite the White House's claim on Monday that there weren't supply shortages following a ransomware attack that forced the Colonial Pipeline to shut down, the ripples caused by the pipeline's closure are starting to look more like whitecaps. 

"We know that the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline is affecting fuel supply for some Americans," said Buttigeg at the top of his remarks, just a bit of an understatement.

Data sourced by GasBuddy showed how significant the shortage is after numbers jumped again from Wednesday morning to early Wednesday afternoon. North Carolina reports 65% of its stations are out while 42% of pumps in Georgia and Virginia dry. 

When NBC's Peter Alexander posed a reasonable question to Buttigieg, the Secretary fumbled: "Does the fact that this one ransomware attack could take down roughly 45% of the east coast's fuel supply mean that we should be building additional pipelines going forward?" asked Alexander.

"In this case, this was an issue about how a cyberattack impacted a pipeline that's there," answered Buttigieg. "I'm not sure it really speaks to the number or quantity of pipelines or their throughput."

That's the best he could do? It doesn't take a rocket scientist, transportation secretary, or midwest mayor to do the quick math. If there were more than one pipeline through which the east coast's fuel supply traveled through, losing one would mean a shortage, but not a complete lack of gas.

For context on just how poorly our government is handling its response to the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, we're now at the don't-put-your-gas-in-a-ziploc stage:

Secretary Buttigieg, who in his previous elected post as mayor of South Bend, Indiana was unable to fix his city's potholes, also appeared to politicize the growing problem by making a pitch for Biden's infrastructure plan with investment in "resilient and flexible" projects. 

Reminder: It was this same administration—that claims to be obsessed with creating jobs and building infrastructure—that killed off the Keystone Pipeline along with its blue collar jobs.