SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Many of us expected to see higher prices at the pump this Labor Day weekend, but Hurricane Harvey is the blame for the rise.
Two of the nation’s largest oil refineries have been shut down because of Harvey, causing the nation’s average gas price per gallon to rise to $2.51.
Prices have increased by 29 cents per gallon in the past week and 12 cents overnight in Georgia — bringing the state’s average to $2.50. According to AAA, this is the highest point gas has reached this year.
“In our area, the fuel supply has gotten tight, prices have spiked a lot. Right now what I say to everybody is we’re at the mercy of the market, so our fuel supply prices are going up a lot,” says Chief Operations Officer of Parker’s gas stations, Jeff Bush.
Fuel is tight because most refineries along the coast have either been shut down or their output has reduced. The only gas coming in is the gas already in the pipelines and terminals.
“All the pipelines that are coming out of Louisiana and the gulf coast are all connected and we have different spurs that feed off that pipeline that feed into different areas,” Bush said.
This is the reason for different prices in neighboring states like Alabama ($2.30), Florida ($2.49), South Carolina ($2.38), North Carolina ($2.46), and Tennessee ($2.35). The difference is because of the variation of taxes by states and by county.
Travel time to get the fuel is also a contributing factor in the price increase.
According to Bush, “We want to have fuel as much as we can as often as we can for our community. And look, the bottom line here is disruptions that are happening here are minimal compared to what’s going on it Texas.”
In order to save while costs are on the rise, gas stations suggest downloading their apps or apps such as Gas Buddy, to find the best deal near you. Some of the apps will also tell you if the stations are out of gas.