The Colonial Pipeline announced on May 13 the company had restarted its entire pipeline system after the company fell victim to a cyberattack that took pipeline operations offline for several days.
During the supply slowdown, various headlines and posts proclaimed a gasoline shortage across the United States and “#GasShortage2021” trended on Twitter. Government agencies also warned consumers to not panic buy at the pump.
Was a woman seen recently filling plastic bags with gasoline amid the supply shortage?
The video was actually taken in 2019, not during the gasoline shortage sparked by recent events, including the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack.
WHAT WE FOUND
“Sorry for my bad video but what in the hell is this lady doing,” Rudison wrote on Facebook on December 10, 2019.
On December 12, 2019, Aisha Rudison, his wife, also posted the video and wrote several people warned the woman not to load gasoline in the bags.
VERIFY found that the video resurfaced around May 11, 2021, with users blaming the current gas shortage. This video posted on May 11 had more than 4,000 views and does not have a Facebook fact-check disclaimer, and this video posted the same day does feature the verification warning.
On May 12, this video was also posted to Facebook and has racked up more than 11,000 views.
On May 13, Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit organization that hosts Real America episodes with Graham Allen, posted an episode titled “The Petrol Panic of ‘21.” The video of the woman filling the bags with gasoline was shown in the first seconds of the episode. The same video was cross-posted to Allen’s Facebook page.
The caption read: “The people of the internet NEVER disappoint. We have morons filling plastic bags with gas, fighting in the streets, and WHAT?!”
Each of the videos respectively has more than 200,000 views.
After the video began resurfacing online, the U.S. Consumer Public Safety Commission issued this warning to consumers: “Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline.” The Twitter thread included tips for purchasing and pumping gasoline safely.
At the May 12 White House press briefing, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg addressed hoarding concerns and the proper transportation of gasoline.
“I will say that this is a time to be sensible and to be safe. Of course, we understand the concern in the areas where people are encountering temporary supply disruptions, but hoarding does not make things better. And under no circumstances should gasoline ever be put into anything but a vehicle directly or an approved container. And that, of course, remains true no matter what else is going on,” Buttigieg said.