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Harvey, Irma push gas prices 49 cents higher than a year ago

Across the Mid-Atlantic region, consumers continue to pay more than they paid last week for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

aaa“Drivers across the Mid-Atlantic region can expect continued higher pump prices as Gulf Coast refineries slowly come back online after Hurricane Harvey and regions face potential delivery delays due to Hurricane Irma,” says Martha Meade, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “AAA will continue to monitor Irma’s path and the potential impact the hurricane could have on residents in the area, as well as the refineries, pipelines and supply distribution.”

Hurricane Harvey caused damage to many refineries along the Gulf Coast, pushing prices up. The national average hit its highest price recorded so far this year on Thursday at $2.67 a gallon.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline stands at $2.67, 5 cents higher than one week ago, 31 cents higher than one month ago and 49 cents higher than one year ago.

AAA is closely monitoring Hurricane Irma’s track. Overall, the potential storm-related increase in gas buying, combined with delivery delays will likely cause gas prices to continue increasing into the weekend. States most likely to see gas prices increase post-Irma are those directly in the storm’s path with ripple effects up the East Coast.

At the close of NYMEX trading Friday, WTI crude oil settled at $47.57 per barrel, 28 cents higher than the previous week’s closing price. Crude oil prices have been climbing since last week as a result of the demand stemming from production and Gulf Coast refineries coming back online. The upswing in prices marked a swift reversal from last week, when prices had declined in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Similar to Harvey, post-Irma there would not be a gasoline shortage in the U.S., but instead there could be an issue of getting gasoline supplies to impacted regions. Once power is restored and roads open, gasoline deliveries will resume. Overall, the potential storm-related increase in gas buying in the coming days combined with delivery delays will likely cause gas prices to continue increasing into the weekend. States most likely to see gas prices increase post-Irma are those directly in the storm’s path with ripple effects up the East Coast.

As in any national or local state of emergency, AAA expects gas prices to be held in check up and down the gasoline supply chain, including prices set by refiners, distributors and dealers unless there is a clearly justifiable reason for an increase.

   
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