North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told CNN Wednesday that panic buying caused a gas supply problem in his state.
With an estimated 70% of Charlotte’s gas stations out of fuel, and price gouging complaints piling up across the state, Cooper told CNN's Jake Tapper that they are working on multiple fronts to mitigate the problems at-hand.
“I want this gas supply problem fixed as quickly as possible, and we are working with the local and federal officials, and the company to get that done. I have declared a state of emergency which would allow the transportation waivers for more trucks and heavier trucks to come into the state to bring gas, and we have a waiver from the EPA to increase the amount of fuel coming in,” Cooper said.
“I will tell you that this should not be a gas supply problem, but panic buying has made it a fact,” the governor continued.
“What we have to do though is to get the people calmed down, and to make sure that we get this pipeline up and running as quickly as possible. And to make sure that we have other avenues to get the gas to stations as quickly as possible,” Cooper said.
Contrary to comments made by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp earlier in the day, Cooper said he’s had positive and constructive dialogue with the Biden administration as the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack and subsequent fuel shortage unfolded.
“I had a good conversation with the Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm who told me they were working from the federal level to make sure this pipeline is turned back on as quickly as possible,” Cooper said.
“I got a call right away, and the Biden administration jumped on this quickly with me, and I understand with other state governors across the southeast. I think that this company is going to be able to get things back on track here in the next couple of days. But it does say that we have work to do with cybersecurity, particularly protecting critical infrastructure, and I think that the Biden administration believes that, and is working on that both in the short term and the long term,” he said.