The devastation from Tropical Storm Harvey along the Gulf Coast is starting to have a ripple effect on gasoline prices across the country.
The storm has taken about 14 percent the nation’s refining capacity offline. The national average price of gasoline has started to rise, as major refineries in the Houston area have shut down.
Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst with the online price-tracking firm GasBuddy, says Pennsylvania’s average of $2.55 per gallon will probably go up by about 10 to 15 cents.
“I would expect in an event like this, gas prices will probably be affected for the next few weeks, perhaps longer, depending on the extent of the damage,” says DeHaan.
The increase is far less than what happened over a decade ago with Hurricane Katrina, he says, when national prices spiked by 40 to 50 cents a gallon.
He adds that each penny increase in wholesale gasoline prices results in the nation paying about $4 million more per day.
DeHaan expects prices to drop in mid to late September, as the summer driving season winds down.