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Why Tropical Storm Isaac May Impact Gas Prices

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Floridians fill sand bags in anticipation of Tropical Storm Isaac

In a recent report, StateImpact Pennsylvania quoted experts predicting the price of gasoline would fall after Labor Day, barring a major event like a hurricane or tropical storm hitting the Gulf Coast.
Well, that exact situation may now be developing. As Tropical Storm Isaac veers away from Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico, BP and other drillers are shutting down their offshore production and moving their workers to safety. ABC News reports the production decrease will likely cause the price of crude oil to jump:

The giant storm now moving over the Gulf of Mexico could have a direct impact on consumers wallets – pushing up the price of gas. Energy companies are scrambling ahead of Isaac – evacuating workers from oil and natural gas platforms, and cutting oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. As the storm tracks west it becomes a bigger threat to the energy industry. The Gulf accounts for more than 20 percent of US oil production and over 40 percent of refining. If many plants are closed that could push up gas prices – at least for a few weeks. Global oil prices are already on the rise. West Texas crude rose to more than $97. The price was in the low 80′s as recently as June.

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