AAA: Potential for another gas price spike with Irma
Since Monday, the national gasoline price average has only moderately increased, according to AAA. However, with Irma currently projected to hit Florida and travel up the east coast, gas prices will continue to increase this weekend with the potential to spike next week in regions affected during the storm.
Florida and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina can expect to see motorists flocking to gas stations to fill up their tanks. This increase in buying could worsen the already tight, Harvey-related supply issues along the Colonial Pipeline from Alabama to Virginia.
Some stations in Florida are reporting outages with many others confirming long lines.
No gasoline pipelines servicing Florida’s market have been shut down. Port Everglades, which is the main seaport servicing South Florida with petroleum products, stated that it has at least a week of fuel stored on-site.
However, according to the Port’s website, “Port petroleum operations may be interrupted in the event of storm damage to Port facilities or the entrance channel for ships.”
It is important to note that 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.
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.