USDOT Declares Emergency Over Colonial Pipeline Shutdown – Waives Trucker Hours of Service Rules


The United States Department of Transportation, (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have declared an emergency over the shut down of the Colonial Pipeline and waived trucker hours-of-service rules to transport fuel in 17 states.

The declaration of emergency reads as follows:

The federal trucking waiver came over the weekend after the owners of Colonial Pipeline let it be known they have NOT been able to re-start the four main pipelines of their system. The waiver makes it OK for drivers to exceed the hours-of-service rules if they are hauling fuel products to the states mentioned.

The Colonial pipelines carry 100 million gallons of fuel PER DAY from Houston, TX all the way up Linden, New Jersey.

The pipes supply refined products, not simply oil.   They provide gasoline for cars, diesel fuel for trucks and military bases, aviation fuel for major airports.  In fact, this single pipeline system provides about 45% of ALL the fuel needs for the entire east coast of the United States!

Here’s a look at the Colonial Pipeline system (Click image to enlarge): 

The sad truth is that even with Hours-of-Service rules waived, there is very little chance the trucks will be able to cover the fuel needs.

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In order to replace the amount of fuel carried by those pipelines, fuel depots would have to fill about 10,000 trucks , each transporting 40 tons of fuel…DAILY, to make up for the pipe capacity.

Or 7 trucks loaded with 40 tons of fuel … per SECOND.

. . . . which cannot be done.

If this pipeline is not brought back into service, there will be fuel shortages in the very near term, and massive fuel outages if the system remains offline.


My son is in Information Technology (IT). He says:

IF THIS IS TRUE, any hardware that has already been damaged by the ransomware, like pipeline valves, can be replaced AND most computer servers are Virtual Machines (VM) these days.

A VM several Terabytes in size can be completely restored in hours.

EVEN IF a critical system is “ransomed” the software can easily be relicensed in a few hours.

The configs for the Software are, 9 times out of 10  are kept in a database, and App Servers have their configs stored internally which can be EASILY copied onto a new one or the entire app server restored in minutes.

All large companies have a disaster recovery (DR) site and one this size (Colonial Pipeline) may have 4 to 5 DR sites that they bring online if an event like this happens. So I call 100% total BULLSHIT on this entire thing.”

Based on my son’s experience in IT, it appears that critical infrastructure of this size simply cannot be taken offline for days, never mind longer than that.  Something else seems to be in-play here.

Readers are encouraged to fill up some five gallon gasoline cans to have emergency fuel available before it runs out.

In the event this goes longer term, which we all hope is not likely, they could have to ration and prioritize who gets gasoline first.

Hopefully they are smart enough to keep the food supply chain going, but get ready for empty store shelves for non essential goods!

While Colonial Pipeline is working hard to undo the damage caused by a cyber attack with computer ransomware, it may take awhile to get their pipeline and it’s complex pumping systems, back online.

All these function USED TO BE performed by people.  But computers could get the job done just as well, and maybe even better in some cases, so people were taken out of the loop.  Many either retired or died, and the knowledge of how to do those tasks manually . . .  died with them.  The knowledge was not passed down.

The computer brainiacs of today, have no idea at all how to operate the valves and diverter units at pumping stations, how to purge one product in advance of another being pumped, how to regulate pipe pressure, purge air pockets; which valves to turn which way, at what time, to handle what fuel, how much fuel to put in what tank to allow for temperature expansion so the storage tanks don’t burst . . . and now we’re all stuck because of it.

Ain’t technology grand? (Click to Source)

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