CHICAGO — Gas forecasters predict the national price average will soon eclipse levels last seen since November 2014 due to a cyberattack on a major U.S. pipeline.
It’s in reaction to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which delivers approximately 45% of all fuel to the East Coast. It was shut down following a cyberextortion attempt believed to be carried out by a criminal gang known as DarkSide.
In the last month, gas prices have been gone up by around $.15 per gallon in the Chicago area.
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As officials continue to monitor the situation, AAA is urging against panic-buying of gasoline and have shared the following tips to conserve fuel.
- Plan ahead to accomplish multiple errands in one trip, and whenever possible avoid high-traffic times of day.
- If you own more than one car, use the most fuel-efficient model that meets the needs of any given journey.
- Remove unnecessary and bulky items from your car. Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use. It takes more fuel to accelerate a heavier car, and the reduction in fuel economy is greater for small cars than for larger models.
- Minimize your use of air conditioning. Even at highway speeds, open windows have less effect on fuel economy than the engine power required to operate the air conditioning compressor.
- In hot weather, park in the shade or use a windshield sunscreen to lessen heat buildup inside the car. This reduces the need for air conditioning (and thus fuel) to cool down the car.