Fears of gas price surge after cyberattack shuts U.S. Colonial Pipeline
The largest gasoline pipeline in the U.S. was shut down last week after a sophisticated ransomware attack, which experts are calling the most dramatic cyberattack on U.S. soil to date. The hackers, believed to be based in Russia, took almost 100 gigabytes of data out of Colonial’s network.
The Colonial Pipeline is responsible for transporting more than 100 million gallons of fuel – 2.5 million barrels – daily through pipelines laid out between the states of Texas and New Jersey. It also serves some of the largest U.S. airports such as Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport, the world’s busiest by passenger traffic.
Experts have predicted that a prolonged shutdown could cause a surge in the price of gas, oil and diesel, particularly across the eastern half of the country. The price of diesel, gas and oil previously spiked in 2017 following a temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline due to a leak.
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Mattel to launch “Mattel PlayBack” designed to reuse old materials for new products
The 76-year-old toy company will launch a pilot program called “Mattel PlayBack” which is designed to recover and reuse materials in old toys for future Mattel products. The new effort is the company’s latest step toward a sustainability-focused future.
Mattel previously committed to using 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all of its products and packaging by 2030. Materials that cannot be repurposed as recycled content in new toys will either be downcycled into other plastic products or converted from waste to energy.
The toy company is starting the program with three brands – Barbie, Matchbox and MEGA toys, and plans to add other brands in the future. The pandemic created an unanticipated surge in demand for toys during lockdowns. Many large toy companies are becoming more eco-friendly after decades of relying on environmentally destructive plastic in their products and packaging.
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Chip shortage is making cars more expensive
New cars are becoming more expensive due to the global semiconductor shortage, and the price of used cars is also going up. Around 13% of people who bought a new car in the US in April paid above sticker price, whereas last year, only 8% of buyers paid more.
New vehicle prices have been rising for a while, but the shortage is only worsening the trend. Automakers are temporarily shutting down production lines across the world, and the chips that they are able to source are going to the post popular new vehicles.
Prices will likely keep increasing as the chip shortage keeps thinning supply. Automakers such as Ford and Volkswagen have said they expect to take an even worse hit to production this quarter. Ford will only make half as many cars as it originally expected. “We are, for sure, in crisis mode.” said Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess.
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