Governor hopeful Georgia's fuel levels could return to normal this weekend

Colonial Pipeline to restart main line as soon as Wednesday night

ATLANTA - Colonial Pipeline restarted the gas line servicing Georgia and several other states Wednesday evening. 

On Wednesday, the fuel company announced a 500-foot bypass segment of pipeline around the site of a massive fuel leak in Alabama was in place and that the line had returned to service.

Still, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal told reporters the line will bring relief to drivers at the pump, but it doesn't mean an immediate return to normal levels. 

"We have been told by the Federal Energy Commission that they're putting a quota on every state at the outset, so that the line and product on the line is distributed throughout the entire area that is effected by this," Deal said.

Until the shortage ends, Deal urged drivers to not stock-up or more fuel then necessary. The governor is anticipating Georgia will start receiving normal levels of fuel as early as this coming weekend. 

The shortage continues though as complaints of price gouging keep piling up.

A spokesman with the Georgia attorney generals office tells 11Alive 196 complaints have been filed by consumers since the Colonial Pipeline leak, up from 81 as of Tuesday. 

An executive order Deal signed, reinforced during a state of emergency stations cannot spike the cost for gas, unless it reflects an increase in the station's costs.

"What is the cost of the product itself, has it escalated to the distributors? Has it cost more to actually transport the fuel into our state," Deal said.

Deals said the Attorney General's office will handle investigating gouging complaints.

The leak also shows how much Georgia and surrounding states rely on Colonial Pipeline for fuel. The governor believes Georgia is making strides in alternative energy sources such as solar and electric, but for drivers one thing remains true.

"The truth of the matter is that most of our travel is dependent on oil and oil derived from an oil supply," Deal said.

Simply adding more pipelines to add redundancy and more reliability, Deal said that always comes with push-back.

"Getting additional pipeline for anything is a difficult subject matter and one that is generally resisted by many people that are in the line that the pipeline is designed to go through," Deal said. 


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