Gas Prices Hit Three-Year Highs After Hurricanes, Georgia Sees Largest Price Increase
Gasoline availability continues to improve after Hurricane Irma drove-up demand and left many gas stations without fuel. A steady stream of ships delivering gasoline to Florida’s ports are helping to normalize supply levels in the southeastern U.S., and gas prices are beginning to drift a little lower.
Last week, gasoline hit the highest price in three years. During that time in 2014, oil was (and usually is) the main driver of pump prices, as crude traded between $65-$75 per barrel. This year, hurricanes became the catalyst. Although oil prices hovered around $46-$49/b, gas prices shot up 46 cents (Florida), 55 cents (Georgia), and 46 cents (Tennessee), since August 22.
“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma delivered a 1-2 punch on gas prices in the southeastern U.S.,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Prices surged when Hurricane Harvey caused refinery outages along the Gulf Coast. As refineries recovered, gas prices should have begun to decline after Labor Day, but the arrival of hurricane Irma caused a surge in demand, preventing the impending plunge.”
“Gas prices are poised to plummet 30 cents,” Jenkins continued. “It will not happen overnight, as pump prices decline much slower than they rise. Plus, the threat of any new storms making landfall in the United States would compromise the collapse. However, motorists should see gas prices decline through the end of the month, and possibly reach the lowest point of the year in Q4.”
The top-five highest monthly gas price increases in the U.S. were: Georgia (+50 cents); Florida (+46 cents); South Carolina (+45 cents); Tennessee (+42 cents); and Alabama (+41 cents).
Georgia gas prices averaged $2.72 this past Sunday, September 17. The state average is three cents less than a week ago, yet remains 52 cents more than this time last year.
The most expensive gas price averages in Georgia are in Atlanta ($2.78), Athens ($2.73), and Valdosta ($2.70).
The least expensive gas price averages in Georgia are in Augusta-Aiken ($2.62), Columbus ($2.63), and Macon ($2.63). –Press Release from AAA