Kemp suspends gas tax in Georgia over pipeline attack

‘We are taking action to relieve some of the cost burden from Georgians’

(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File) (John Bazemore, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday suspended the collection of the gas tax in Georgia in response to a cyberattack on a major fuel pipeline.

Among other things, the governor’s executive order ratchets up the weight limit for trucks hauling fuel as part of an effort to shore up gas stations’ fuel supplies. It also imposes a ban on any attempts at price gouging.

The executive action by Kemp comes as Colonial Pipeline, which handles nearly half of the fuel used on the East Coast, looks to restore services impacted by a ransomware attack carried out by hackers.

In a statement, Kemp said his office has been in touch with company and industry representatives since the attack, which is holding Colonial’s systems hostage unless or until hackers’ demands are met.

“Unfortunately, extensive media coverage has caused people to panic which has resulted in higher gas prices. We are taking action to relieve some of the cost burden from Georgians as Colonial recovers by suspending fuel taxes, increasing the weight limit for supply trucks, and prohibiting price gouging,” the governor said.

Kemp doesn’t expect the measure to stay in place for long, saying Colonial plans to get back up and running later this week.

“There is no need to rush to the gas station to fill up every tank you have and hoard gas. With the measures we have taken today, I am hopeful we can get more supply to stations and get through to this weekend when we hope Colonial will return to normal.”

View Kemp’s executive order below: