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East Coast sees gas shortages, price hikes following cyber attack on major fuel pipeline

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After Colonial Pipeline decided to shut down the country’s largest fuel pipeline over cybersecurity threats Friday, states all over the East Coast are experiencing a gas shortage. The pipeline stretches from New Jersey to east Texas.

This comes after ransomware hackers allegedly gained access to information to attack vulnerable parts of the pipeline. In a statement, Colonial Pipeline said it shut the pipeline down as a precaution.

The hackers behind the attack was the group known as DarkSide. It’s a relatively new group, that believes in “ransomware as a service” according to a statement. Their involvement was confirmed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

First, North Carolina declared a state of emergency Monday over the shortage. According to a press release, “The Colonial Pipeline is a primary fuel pipeline for North Carolina.” Governor Roy Cooper said he declared the state of emergency to help “ensure motorists are able to have access to fuel.” Alabama, Arkansas, Wasington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia followed suit, all declaring states of emergency.

Next, gas prices jumped six cents nationally. AAA spokesperson Jeanette McGee said to expect regional impacts in a statement Monday. “Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week,” McGee said. “These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week.”

Then, in a press conference Monday, Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology, discussed the situation with reporters. When asked if the ransomware attackers will receive a ransom, Neuberger said that will be a “private sector decision.”

Next, Colonial Pipeline’s website crashed. While many pointed to the hackers yet again, the company tweeted out that the crash was “unrelated to the ransomware.”

https://twitter.com/Colpipe/status/1392094505235537924

There is no word when the pipeline will be open.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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CO leaders stating they won’t use any city money to support migrants or to alleviate the crisis in Denver

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In February 2018, Denver city leaders sent a valentine to foreigners interested in relocating to the progressive mountain city and a message to any elected officials looking to stop them:

Draped on Denver’s City and County building was a large, blue banner: “Denver ❤️ Immigrants.”

Then-mayor Michael Hancock event posted on social media that it was a statement of “love” to let immigrants know that Denver is “an open and welcoming city.” However, six years later, Denver residents are facing an uphill battle of repercussions from the liberal leaders’ actions. Amid a crisis that has seen more than 40,000 migrants arrive in the city since late 2022, Denver leaders have a new message: If you stay in Denver, you will suffer.

“The opportunities are over,” an official with new mayor Mike Johnston’s office told a gathering of migrants in Spanish inside a city shelter in late March, according to a video obtained by a local television station. “New York gives you more. Chicago gives you more.”

On Monday, Douglas County filed a lawsuit against the state of Colorado and its Democratic governor Jared Polis in Denver District Court over the issue.

The lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of two state laws passed by Democrats in the Colorado legislature: a 2019 law that restricted the ability of local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration officials in civil cases, and a 2023 law that prohibits local governments from entering or renewing detention agreements with ICE and that prohibits them from funding immigration detention facilities owned or operated privately.

“The nation is facing an immigration crisis. The nation, the state, and local governments need to cooperate and share resources to address this crisis,” the lawsuit states, adding that the 2019 and 2023 laws in question “prohibit the necessary cooperation and create dangerous conditions for the State and migrants.”

Teal contends that “the state doesn’t have the inherent authority to limit the ability of a local jurisdiction to work with any agency, regardless be it local, state, or federal.” By doing so, he said, “the state is inhibiting the local communities, the local jurisdictions from providing for the safety” of their residents.

“We are seeing what is going on in Denver, and we do not want that coming here to Douglas County. It is not safe,” Douglas County commissioner Lora Thomas, a former state trooper, said during a Monday morning press conference announcing the lawsuit.

Douglas commissioner Abe Laydon said on Monday that the lawsuit “is about putting America first and about putting Coloradans first.” As a Latino, he said, he recognizes “the plight of those seeking refuge and asylum here in the United States,” but he added that “Douglas County is a place where quality of life comes first.”

National Review reports on the mile-high city’s crisis:

In January, the city was housing and feeding almost 5,000 migrants, mostly Venezuelans, in hotel shelters. Other migrants slept in tents on sidewalks and in parking lots, adding a new wrinkle to Denver’s ongoing struggles with panhandling and squalid homeless camps.

At intersections throughout Denver, migrants with water bottles and squeegees head into traffic to try to make a few bucks washing drivers’ windshields.

To address a migrant-driven financial crunch, the city is now cutting hours at local rec centers, slashing park programming, and freezing hiring in some departments. To save a little money, the city has decided against planting flowers in some of its parks and medians this spring.

The migrant crisis has cost the Denver region at least $170 million, according to a conservative estimate by Colorado’s Common Sense Institute, which looked at city spending as well as school and hospital costs, and is almost surely an undercount.

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