Hurricane Harvey Brings Higher Gas Prices

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 31, 2017

Prices at the pump haven't budged much - yet.

Per-gallon retail prices are anticipated to rise 5 to 15 cents going into Labor Day weekend, AAA public relations director Jeanette Casselano said in a phone interview.

"Prices a week ago were about $2.19".

One out of every five barrels of gasoline produced in the USA has been threatened by Hurricane Harvey, the release stated.

"About 3 million barrels a day are taken off line, so that's significant, and that ripples its way down through the system", said Eric Stigberg, a spokesman for AAA Northway in Schenectady. Prices will remain high until areas around the oil and gas refineries can recover. and get power restored.

"It affects everyone. It goes around and shows up in everyone's pockets", Nielson said.

AAA stressed that Gulf Coast states would experience the greatest rise at the pump in the next week to 10 days.

Colonial Pipeline, the company that supplies gasoline to most of the eastern seaboard was not affected by the storm.

While Hurricane Harvey has weakened into Tropical Storm Harvey, it is still having a huge impact on Texas and much of the Gulf Coast by adding rain to already flooded areas. As shown in the chart, prices this year are up 8.4% year/year, which is a relatively big increase compared to recent history, but from a longer term perspective, isn't that far from the norm.

The refineries affected represent over 17 percent of the USA gas production, around 3 million barrels a day, according to Tribune.

Still, Harvey has dealt a serious blow to refineries, ports and production in the U.S. Gulf Coast, which is the nation's key energy hub.

Coast Guardsmen rescue 15 people in distress aboard three vessels after Hurricane Harvey made landfall near August 26, 2017, near Port Aransas, Texas.

In other words, Harvey has disrupted about one-fifth of the country's total refining capability.

At least eight refineries across Texas were offline as of Tuesday afternoon. Due to the shutdowns nationally, thousands of flights have been canceled.

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