As Hurricane Isaac swamps the nation’s oil and gas production along the Gulf Coast, it’ is causing higher pump prices to storm-battered residents of Louisiana and Mississippi — and also to unsuspecting drivers up north in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
The national average price of a gallon of gas jumped almost five cents Wednesday (Aug. 29) to $3.80, the highest ever for this date. Prices are expected to continue to climb through Labor Day weekend, the end of the summer driving season.
“The national average will keep ticking higher, and it’s going to be noticeable,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at Gasbuddy.com.
Isaac shut down several refineries along the Gulf Coast while others are operating at reduced rates. About 1.3 million barrels per day of refining capacity is affected. So, it’s no surprise that drivers in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida saw gas prices rise by 10¢ or more in the past week.