Gas prices reach highest average of year; AAA blames Harvey

Randolph Lopez
September 6, 2017

According to GasBuddy, average gas prices in Minnesota have risen about 18 cents per gallon within the last week, averaging about $2.50.

"We've already seen a pretty hefty increase across MI, and that happened on Tuesday (Aug., 29), when prices jumped to $2.65", DeHaan said.

Meanwhile, S.C. residents averaged $2.52 per gallon, the highest average in almost 3 years. Gas prices in Washington for September 5 have varied widely in recent years.

Average retail gas prices in the region rose about 24 cents per gallon in the past week, to an average of $2.88 on Monday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 731 Pittsburgh-area gas outlets.

She came to Attleboro thinking gas was about 50 cents cheaper than she was seeing in Providence, only to find unleaded plus fuel at a staggering $3.08 per gallon.

Average gas prices increased in every state, he said.

"While it may be weeks or longer before all refineries are back online, the situation is beginning to look up", he said.

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Refineries in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas and areas most effected by Hurricane Harvey will take a few days to get back on-line. "Tennessee, Kentucky and OH are seeing 29 cent hikes", he said Friday.

GasBuddy's senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said Friday that he thought the availability tracker had "solid data", but Tuesday said "we have heard some complaints from users about possible abuse".

He estimated that drivers could see prices start to fall as soon as the middle of next week depending on what happens with Hurricane Irma. "We have seen the pace of increases at the pump greatly slow down", DeHaan said. Harvey also caused eight refineries in Texas to shut down, the largest being ExxonMobil's Baytown operation, which has a capacity of 584,000 barrels a day.

Colonial closed its main line down and announced Thursday that it was shutting down a supply line to the South, a network that provides around 40 percent of the South's gasoline, said the Associated Press, but the pipeline is planned to be reopened this weekend.

"AAA will continue to monitor Irma's path and the potential impact the hurricane could have on the Carolinas, as well as the refineries, pipelines and distribution", Wright said.

Average prices in all 50 states went up in the past week in the wake of the hurricane. "The situation promises to be challenging if Irma threatens the USA mainland", DeHaan added.

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