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Gov. Kemp temporarily suspends state fuel tax due to pipeline shutdown, concerns of rising costs

"We are hopeful this issue is short-lived and I'm happy to provide some relief for Georgians who are gonna see higher prices this week," Kemp said.

ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is suspending the state fuel tax in Georgia until Saturday, he announced Tuesday morning during a press conference for the 2022 budget signing. 

It has been five days since the Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline has been offline due to a cyberattack. Drivers are already seeing an impact in prices at the pump.

The Colonial Pipeline, which is based right here in Alpharetta, Georgia, is one of the nation's largest sources of fuel and remains mostly shut down after a cyberattack.

Experts say this could have major impacts on travel in Georgia. The Colonial Pipeline runs from Texas to New Jersey, carrying more than 100 million barrels of fuel every day. That's everything from gasoline to heating oil and jet fuel that supplies Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

In an effort to reduce the impact for drivers in the state, Gov. Kemp announced that he is temporarily eliminating the weight limit for trucks transporting fuel - providing more supply for stations as they receive deliveries.

He also signed an executive order that suspends the collection of state taxes on diesel and motor fuel through Saturday night. 

"We are hopeful this issue is short-lived and I'm happy to provide some relief for Georgians who are gonna see higher prices this week,"  Kemp said.

The order also prohibits price gauging. He said, "anyone taking advantage of this disruption and making a quick buck off the backs of Georgians will not be tolerated."

He said his office has been in very close contact with the company and industry officials, as well as government partners since they learned of the shutdown.

In response to the attack, the Biden administration also loosened regulations for the transport of petroleum products on highways as part of an "all-hands-on-deck" effort to avoid disruptions in the fuel supply.

Kemp said Colonial continues to indicate this is a short-term disruption. 

"There is no need to fill up every tank that you have or hoard gasoline," Kemp said. "Don't do things you don't need to do. Do what you need to and just use good common sense."

According to AAA, the average cost per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline Tuesday was $2.87. They say the national average was $2.98.

According to the state Dept. of Labor, prepaid local tax on motor fuel is calculated by multiplying the prepaid local tax rate by the applicable average retail price in this chart by the number of gallons sold.