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Fuel prices rising after Texas storm, outages

Since Monday, the national gas price average has increased seven cents to $2.58 per gallon, according to the AAA. In Chautauqua County, the price is closer to $2.68 per gallon.

This quick four-day jump is a direct result of all major Gulf Coast refineries being impacted by the recent storm, which has caused gas supplies to tighten and pump prices to increase.

The situation is very similar to a Gulf Coast hurricane’s impact, the agency says. Refineries come offline, and until damage (if any) is assessed and operations are back up and running, supply is tight, especially with road conditions and power outages (mostly in Texas) reducing fuel deliveries – if stations even have power to accept them. Until things thaw out and Gulf Coast refineries are running again (likely early next week), we do expect more expensive pump prices across the country, varying another 5-15 cents.

“We urge motorists in the impacted areas to stay off the road and not rush to get gas. Gasoline will flow into stations as power is restored and roads are cleared,” the Association said in a statement. “We are seeing temporary outages, not a shortage. On Monday the Colonial Pipeline reported no impact from the storm, which will aide in refueling quickly once roads can be traveled.”

As in any national or local state of emergency, AAA expects gas prices to be held in check — up and down the gasoline supply chain — including prices set by refiners, distributors and dealers. If motorists are concerned about price gouging, they should contact their state’s Attorney General office.

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