4 in 5 DC gas stations without fuel amid panic-buying

A sign reading "Out of Fuel" is taped to the window at an Exxon Gas Station on Boonsboro Road in Lynchburg, Va., Tuesday, May 11, 2021. More than 1,000 gas stations in the Southeast reported running out of fuel, primarily because of what analysts say is unwarranted panic-buying among drivers, as the shutdown of a major pipeline by hackers entered its fifth day. In response, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency. (Kendall Warner/The News & Advance via AP)
As of 9 a.m. Saturday, 81% of gas stations in the District, 42% of gas stations in Virginia and 38% of gas stations in Maryland were out gas, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.com.

Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline demand fell 12.6% from a week ago, to the lowest rate since Feb 26.

De Haan said this is likely due to a demand shift by the “panicked response” from consumers after the Colonial Pipeline hack and “not a longer trend.”

As of 9 a.m. on Saturday, 81% of gas stations in the District, 42% of gas stations in Virginia and 38% of gas stations in Maryland were out gas, according to De Haan.

These numbers are similar to those from Friday night, but De Haan said that may be because gas stations that have been refueled overnight might not have been reported yet.

How to report problems


Residents are encouraged to report any scams fraud, price gouging or other unfair business practices in D.C. to the Office of Consumer Protection vial email at consumer.protection@dc.gov, calling 202-442-9828 or texting 202-738-5212. Those interested in submitting a complaint can find more information on the D.C. attorney general’s website.


Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring encouraged drivers to report suspected price gouging to the state’s Consumer Protection Section at consumer@oag.state.va.us or by calling 800-552-9963. A complaint form is also available on the attorney general’s website.

The Virginia Emergency Support Team will host a virtual briefing about the situation at 3 p.m. Thursday.


Maryland’s Office of Consumer Protection has information on consumer protections online.

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Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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