Isaac Spikes Gas Prices
While Tropical Storm Isaac batters Louisiana, some of the storm's effects are already being felt here in the Lone Star State. AAA reports the average gas price in Texas has risen by nine cents in the past week to $3.64 a gallon. Doug Shupe, public affairs manager for AAA, tells KTRH Isaac is the main culprit. "We believe these prices have increased as a result of several refineries in Eastern Louisiana and Mississippi closing ahead of Isaac's landfall." Hundreds of oil platforms in the Gulf were evacuated earlier this week, halting much of the production from the region.
So far, there has been no major damage to oil rigs or platforms from Isaac, which bodes well for drivers. "The good news is analysts say this price spike will likely be short-lived if there's no long-lasting damage to refineries in that area," Shupe says. The other big factor that should start to bring prices down is the end of the summer driving season. "We're very hopeful these prices will start to fall sooner rather than later, as soon as the Labor Day weekend is over." Despite the higher prices, AAA expects 2.4 million Texans will travel this holiday weekend, a 4.5% increase over last year. "This is the last big hurrah for a lot of families to get that last summer trip in," Shupe adds.
Texans who are traveling this weekend can take some solace that they are still paying less than drivers in other states. The national average is now $3.80 a gallon, up eight cents from last week. In Houston, drivers are paying $3.62 per gallon, also an eight-cent increase. With both Isaac and the Labor Day weekend about to pass, relief may soon be on the way.