Pennsylvania

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Gasoline price spikes caused by Harvey on par with Katrina

People watch heavy rain from the relative safety of a flooded gas station caused by  Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, in Houston, Texas.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

People watch heavy rain from the relative safety of a flooded gas station caused by Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, in Houston, Texas.

The sharp uptick in gasoline prices across the country, caused by disruptions from Hurricane Harvey, is on par with what happened more than a decade ago during Hurricane Katrina, according to a new analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

On Monday the average retail gasoline price in the U.S. was $2.68 per gallon– 28 cents per gallon higher than the previous week.

The EIA says supply disruptions and refinery outages caused by Hurricane Harvey were having an even larger impact on the East Coast, and the Gulf Coast, where, “gasoline prices are 39 cents/gal and 35 cents/gal higher, respectively, than they were a week ago, before the full effects of the storm were felt.”

These impacts are in line with what happened during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita which saw gasoline spot prices rise nearly 30 percent within one trading day of Katrina’s landfall in Louisiana.

EIA map of gasoline prices

U.S. Energy Information Administration

In Pennsylvania, the statewide average shot up 29 cents since last week, to an average of 2 dollars and 88 cents, according to the online price-tracking firm, GasBuddy.

Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy, believes the prices have peaked.

“Certainly some refineries have come back online enough that wholesale gas prices have started to inch lower, ” DeHaan tells WITF’s Smart Talk. “While we may see some minor price increases in the next few days, we should start to see prices decrease in the next week or so.”

Listen to the full interview with DeHaan here:

 

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