Gas Prices Rising In The Wake Of Hurricane Harvey

The price of regular unleaded gasoline is likely to spike in Tampa Bay in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The price of regular unleaded gasoline is likely to spike in Tampa Bay in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

As Hurricane Harvey impacts oil production on the Texas Gulf Coast and many Kansas prepare to hit the roads for the traditionally busy Labor Day travel weekend, motorists are feeling the pain when filling up their gas tanks.

Hurricane Harvey's devastating journey in the Texas Gulf Coast has forced several oil and gas refineries to temporality shut down operations and production.

Today's US average price for gasoline is $2.40, up nine cents from a month ago and up 19 cents from a year ago. But that number should rise, since the Texas Gulf Coast is home to almost a quarter of the country's gasoline production.

That's bad news for consumers not just in the US, but in Canada as well with a three-cent-a-litre increase forecast for much of the country.

Jeanette Casselano, a spokeswoman at AAA, said gas prices were already expected to rise over Labor Day Weekend as far back as July. The Environmental Protection Agency has chose to waive some of its environmental standards on gasoline for select counties in Texas in an attempt to alleviate the tight and potential shortage of supply.

The nationwide average right now, she said, is $2.40 per gallon.

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Molchanov said the crude oil prices will be unaffected by the hurricane over the long run. AAA expects Harvey's impact to drive gas prices to the highest they have been this year, which was $2.42 in March. "There are some refineries in that Gulf Coast region that supply all the way up to the Midwest".

Hurricane Harvey, which is now pummelling Texas with rain, is to blame for the uptick in gas prices in the Montreal area.

"We were cruising into fall with gas prices declining, and the only reason that is interrupted is geopolitical tensions and hurricane season", DeHaan said.

AAA said today was one of the largest gas price hikes seen this summer, according to a news release. Tuesdays are recommended for "topping off" because while prices are not the cheapest, they're still usually pretty good.

This morning, the West Texas Intermediate crude oil benchmark is trading near $46 per barrel, down four dollars from a month ago and about a dollar less than a year ago. Prices peaked at $3.87 per gallon in 2013 and almost $4.00 in 2012.

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