As the east coast braces for Hurricane Irma, the effects of Hurricane Harvey continue to be felt here at home. The hurricane that devastated southeast Texas is pushing gas prices higher and higher.
Sticker shock at the pump
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is now $2.65. Motorists in 26 states are paying 25 to 44 cents more compared to seven days ago, according to the AAA Gas Prices website.
Gas prices have risen in every state except four – Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii and Utah.
In Georgia, the current average price for a gallon of regular gas is $2.70, up from $2.29 just a week ago. It’s the highest price Georgians have paid at the pump in two years.
The increase is due to the closure of key pipelines and a number of refineries impacted by flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
“News of refineries starting-up is very promising, especially for areas that have felt tightened supply levels over the last 10 days, but we aren’t in the clear yet,” says Director of AAA Public Relations Jeanette Casselano. “Consumers will continue to feel pain at the pump stemming from Harvey with gas prices potentially increasing an additional five to ten cents in the week ahead. States in the south, southeast and mid-Atlantic are most likely to see the biggest surges as these states receive the bulk of their supplies from the Gulf Coast. They could even see an additional surge if Hurricane Irma hits Florida this weekend. The good news (is) consumers will see relief from the gas price spike towards the end of this month.”
Softening the blow
Gov. Nathan Deal has taken steps to try to ease the impact of Hurricane Harvey on Georgia’s fuel prices and supply. Deal applied for, and received, a fuel waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow “winter blend” fuels in metro Atlanta early this year. He also issued an executive order waiving rules and regulations for truck drivers transporting motor fuel in Georgia and for those carrying hurricane relief supplies.
- The nation’s largest weekly increases are Delaware (+44 cents), Georgia (+41 cents), Maryland (+41 cents), New Jersey (+40 cents), Tennessee (+39 cents), South Carolina (+39 cents), North Carolina (+38 cents), Connecticut (+37 cents), New Hampshire (+37 cents) and Massachusetts (+36 cents).
- The nation’s top ten least expensive markets are Arizona ($2.36), Oklahoma (2.38), Louisiana ($2.38), Arkansas ($2.40), Missouri ($2.45), Mississippi ($2.45), Kansas ($2.49), New Mexico ($2.49), Alabama ($2.49) and Minnesota ($2.50) (Source: AAA)