Hoping to ease concerns of many Americans experiencing gasoline shortages and inflation following the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, President Joe Biden gave an update on things Thursday, looking to affect a potentially damaging political problem and on the heels of his new executive order aimed to stop future attacks.
While Biden said the "good news" is that things is getting back to normal, he emphasized that "will take a while ," predicting supplies would improve within the next several days."I want to be clear, we'll not feel the consequences at the pump immediately. this is often not like flicking on a light-weight switch," he said.
"I know seeing lines at the pumps or gas stations with no gas are often extremely stressful," he added, "but this is often a short lived situation."He said "panic buying will only slow the process" and warned against price-gouging.
The president has been briefed on the incident a day since the attack happened Friday night by his counselor Steve Ricchetti and National Security Council chief of staff Yohannes Abraham, a source conversant in the matter told ABC News and first reported by Axios. Biden was also briefed by White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan twice on Sunday and again on Monday and Tuesday.
In sign of the political sensitivities involved, the sources made some extent of noting it had been clear from Biden's first briefing that he wanted to be regularly updated on the newest developments and, especially , what was being done to reply .
Colonial Pipeline restarted its system late Wednesday afternoon and during a statement Thursday morning said it's "made substantial progress" which "product delivery has commenced during a majority" of markets they service within the southeast.
However, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stressed it'll still take time for all the consequences of the hack to wear off."People will start to ascertain normalcy within the next few days," Granholm said on CNN Thursday morning. "Hopefully by the top of the weekend, the buyer won't even know that the shortage exists anymore."
Until the shortage lets up, Granholm warned that hoarding supplies will only make things, and therefore the prices at the pumps, worse."When hoarding happens, it compounds the matter . It exacerbates the shortage of supply. And it's going to also contribute to gas price increases. So we would like to form sure that everyone knows that this is often getting to be -- things getting to be back to normal. No got to do this .”In South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C., gas stations with fuel outages are over 50%, consistent with GasBuddy, and for the primary time in 7 years, gas prices nationally crossed $3 a gallon on Wednesday.
There are few things more politically dangerous than high gas prices, and with the Memorial Day holiday round the corner, the president is looking to tamper worries together with his remarks and speak on to frustrated Americans, making the case that this could be a short-lived issue.His remarks came just hours after he signed an executive order to strengthen U.S. cybersecurity defenses with the goal of preventing similar attacks and after the White House has faced questions on why it wasn’t better prepared to guard its infrastructure.
Biden’s order mandates private companies "doing business with the federal government" share information with it about hacks."We pushed the authority as far as we could," a senior administration official said. “Anybody doing business with the U.S. government will need to share incidents, in order that we will use that information to guard Americans more broadly."
It will also require all software bought by the federal to satisfy certain security standards within nine months and "creates a pilot program to make an 'Energy Star' sort of label therefore the government – and therefore the public at large – can quickly determine whether software was developed securely."Another danger the Biden administration is now confronted with are concerns over inflation and inflation on commodity .
Prices consumers buy goods like food and gas went up 0.8 percent in April consistent with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the last 12 months, the “all items index” increased 4.2%., which is that the largest 12-month increase since September 2008. Prices for used cars and trucks rose 10% in April also , making it the most important 1-month increase since the series began in 1953, and were a big contributor to the broader increase.
All three major stock indices fell Wednesday as data indicated inflation was above expected within the month of April and investors seem to be nervous that it's going to be higher and more persistent than the Federal Reserve System and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen are forecasting.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki in the week said that the administration takes "the possibility of inflation quite seriously" but that there are "a range of factors" live ."There’s a few of knowledge points that are specific to the present moment. and that we knew, even as the — because the economy, sort of, shrunk and pack up , that, as it’s turning back on, there would be a number of these impacts."