Effects of Ida Include Higher Fuel Prices Across Louisiana
As you peruse internet video of the incredible carnage left behind in the wake of Hurricane Ida it's hard to imagine anyone complaining over having to pay a few more cents for a gallon of gas. But as the satellite trucks pull out of southeastern Louisiana and the intense coverage moves on to "the next big story" there's no doubt you will find yourself grumbling about how much money it will take to fill up your tank.
Hurricanes and tropical storms usually do have some effect on fuel prices. In most cases, a storm in the Gulf of Mexico disrupts production as platforms have to be evacuated and shut down while the storm system passes. Then comes the chore of restaffing those platforms and restarting them.
That's the case if the storm has minimal impacts. Hurricane Ida did not have minimal impacts. It had major impacts not only on those who live and work in the southeastern part of Louisiana but the oil and gas industry which moves a lot of merchandise through that part of the state on its way to your gas tank.
A spokesperson for the fuel app Gas Buddy is speculating that fuel prices could rise anywhere from five cents to fifteen cents per gallon because of Hurricane Ida. Patrick DeHann, Gas Buddy’s Petroleum Analyst spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network about the potential of a price rise.
It will likely be more measured in pennies per day for a couple of days at least that this point. The situation could worsen though, we could see prices rise a little bit more if the refineries remain down for several weeks
The fact that so many refineries in Louisiana had to shutter in preparation for the storm is a reason for concern for those who are minding every dime they spend on fuel. There is one refinery that was reported to be affected by flood waters so that particular facility could be down for a longer period of time than the other refineries.
If you recall gas prices jumped by as much as forty cents a gallon in the weeks and months following Hurricane Katrina. So, a jump of a nickel to fifteen cents per gallon doesn't seem too far off base to forecast for the weeks following Ida.
However, if there is a little ray of sunshine in the dark cloud of higher gas prices, it might be this. The average price for a gallon of regular gas across the nation is $3.17 a gallon. In Louisiana, the average price for a gallon of regular gas is $2.83. So, even with an increase of .15 cents, drivers in the Bayou State would still be paying less than the national average, at least as it stands today.
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