As it was predicted, so it has come to pass: Days after the country’s largest fuel system temporarily shut down its main lines in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, gas prices around the country are shooting upwards.
According to AAA, between Thursday and Friday, the national gas price average went up about $0.7 to $2.52, the highest recorded price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline so far this year.
As one might expect, some southern states have had larger increases: Texas prices went up by $0.10 to $2.35, for a $0.21 increase since last Friday; Georgia saw a spike of $0.12 overnight to $2.51 for a $0.29 increase in a week; and North Carolina’s gas prices rose by $0.11 t $2.47 for a $0.27 increase since the storm hit.
The Colonial Pipeline shutdown — as well as temporary refinery closures — have led to an increase in gasoline futures — the wholesale prices charged to gas stations — that are eventually passed down to customers.
Higher prices could reign for a bit longer as refineries try to get up and running again.
“There’s a worry now that most of the Texas refineries could be compromised for weeks rather than days,” Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, which tracks prices for AAA, told CNN (warning: link contains autoplay video).
“Consumers will see a short-term spike in the coming weeks with gas prices likely topping $2.50 per gallon, but quickly dropping by mid to late September,” Jeanette Casselano, an AAA spokesperson, said on Thursday.