Ian’s disruption of Florida pipelines likely to cause gas price increases

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 5:34 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hurricane Ian’s path of devastation could end up hitting Louisianans’ wallets at the gas pumps.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Ian temporarily disrupted Florida’s gasoline supply chain. It says Florida does not have refineries or gasoline pipelines that connect it to states with excess supply, which could result in higher prices.

“Certainly, a storm of that magnitude has disrupted the oil production industry. I mean you saw refineries close down in preparation but particularly the oil production,” said Don Redman, a AAA spokesman. “Of course, Hurricane Ian is going to impact that entire eastern coast, southern-eastern coastline, and those prices certainly jump. I’m not anticipating a great jump in Louisiana, but I think prices will continue to climb, certainly through the week.”

More: Frustration and desperation mount as Ian’s effects linger

At least 78 people have been confirmed dead: 71 in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba since Ian made landfall on the Caribbean island on Sept. 27 and in Florida a day later. Search and rescue efforts were still ongoing Monday in Florida.

Washed-out bridges to barrier islands, flooded roadways, spotty cellphone service and a lack of water, electricity or the internet left hundreds of thousands isolated. The situation in many areas wasn’t expected to improve for several days because waterways were overflowing, leaving the rain that fell with nowhere to go.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to visit Florida on Wednesday.

Redman says demand for gasoline remains high as Americans continue to travel and there are global influences as well.

“Fuel is news driven and it’s all going to be about the news of the day. Certainly, it didn’t help that OPEC has cut back production and we haven’t returned to pre-pandemic production here in this country,” said Redman. “Added to it, of course, is the issue with Ukraine and Russia is far from being resolved.”

Redman says there remains unpredictability in terms of gasoline prices.

“The hurricane certainly didn’t help with that,” he says.

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