Harvey triggers gasoline-price surge just in time for Labor Day

Harvey triggers gasoline-price surge just in time for Labor Day

Harvey, which began as a Category 4 hurricane but was downgraded shortly after hitting Texas, has not affected that refinery's output.

At $2.45, today's national gas rice average is up ten cents in the past week to the highest recorded price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline so far this year.

The Colonial Pipeline, which carries huge amounts of gasoline and other fuel between Houston and the East Coast, is shutting down after Hurricane Harvey forced the closure of refineries and some of the pipeline's own facilities. "With Colonial shut and a quarter of Gulf coast refining capacity out, the south-east will need to get fuel from storage, other forms of transport from the Gulf like trucks and ships, and imports".

On Thursday, Aug. 31, Colonial announced two lines continue to operate from Lake Charles east, and deliveries would be intermittent and dependent on terminal and refinery supply.

"We're seeing increases of anywhere from 10 to 15 cents the past couple of nights, each night - but you will see retail prices will climb over the next few days", said Joe Crain, whose company Crane Oil supplies convenience stores with gas and diesel fuel.

The emergency waivers remove "requirements for reformulated gasoline and low volatility gasoline", according to the EPA.

"Given the unprecedented flooding in the city of Port Arthur, it remains uncertain how quickly the flood waters will recede, so we can not provide a timeline for restart at this time", the company said.

But refiners have not reported the type of major flood damage that kept fuel plants down for months following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Hurricane Harvey's homeless pets being sent across United States for new homes
They too are taking in pet supplies and food as well as accepting monetary donations to assist with the pets in need in Texas. Phillips Pet Food and Supplies will also be donating Dream Crates wire crates to help in the safe transportation of rescues.

Filling fuel tanks is becoming increasingly hard in parts of Texas where some stations were out of gas and pump costs have risen steeply.

Gas prices have skyrocketed at local pumps and we are receiving calls from concerned drivers about price gouging. The system hauls about 660,000 barrels a day of gasoline, diesel, fuel oil or jet fuel from the Gulf Coast region to the Chicago area.

All of these problems have sent gasoline prices surging.

Now, gas originally meant for northern states can be sold in Florida and some still-open refineries can focus on making the one type of high-volatility gasoline.

While much of the region's refining infrastructure still remained offline from Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane last week and drenched Texas as a tropical storm, the restarts were a first step in alleviating concerns about US fuel supplies.

Major fuel arteries, including Colonial Pipeline, are struggling to find enough fuel to supply the Eastern Seaboard because of supply disruptions from Harvey, which has also taken at least 46 lives and damaged 100,000 homes.

While suppliers of gasoline stations from Georgia northward might have reason to be concerned, the Sunshine State has one key advantage: It's not winter yet. Folks in the Triangle are already seeing a price increase. "I passed one gas station that's $2.44 in Cary, so this one (on South Saunders Street) is the cheapest I've seen", said Ken Bond as he was filling up at $2.31.

Colonial Pipeline predicted Sunday afternoon that it would pump gasoline again from its lines west of Louisiana on Tuesday.

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