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- Drivers can still get gas and fuel in Birmingham, Ala., in spite of pipeline cyberattack.
A cyberattack has shut down a major pipeline that carries refined gasoline and jet fuel from Texas to New York and prompted fears of shortages among people who rely on the Colonial Pipeline to fill their tanks. But don’t believe every rumor you read.
"Fill your tanks and jugs folks," read one message that’s spreading on social media. "Birmingham is officially out of gas and fuel and can’t get anymore."
But that’s not true. This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
We reached out to Clay Ingram, a spokesperson for AAA in Alabama who is based in Birmingham. He said he hasn’t heard one report about a station running out of gas anywhere in the state.
Bart Fletcher, president of the Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama, a trade association for more than 350 petroleum marketers and convenience store operators across the state, also told us he’s received no reports of gasoline outages in Birmingham. Drivers can still get gas and fuel at the stations there, he said.
"I know for a fact that 100% of stations in Birmingham are not out of gasoline," he said, and he doesn’t expect they’ll run out because of the cyberattack unless the problem lingers. Several years ago an accident caused the pipeline to shut down in Birmingham for about a week and stations didn’t run out of gas, he said.
AL.com reported on May 10 that the cyberattack may cause prices to rise, but there was no mention of entire cities running out of fuel.
We rate this post False.
Facebook post, May 10, 2021
The New York Times, Cyberattack forces a shutdown of top U.S. pipeline, May 8, 2021
Al.com, Colonial Pipeline shutdown: Alabama gas prices may be among first to rise, May 10, 2021
Interview with Clay Ingram, spokesperson, AAA Alabama, May 10, 2021
Interview with Bart Fletcher, president, Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama, May 10, 2021
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