Gas prices are at their highest national average since late 2014 and with the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, they may continue to rise.
According to the American Automobile Association, the current national average price for just one gallon of gas is $2.99. That is nearly a 9 cent jump since last week when fuel prices averaged around $2.91. As people begin to panic about the cyberattack that shut off the Colonial Pipeline servicing 45 percent of all fuel to states along the East Coast, gas prices are expected to climb in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, the attack on the 5,500-mile pipeline stretching from New Jersey to Houston caused shortages as soon as Monday night in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and other states where drivers were struggling to find fuel. In Virginia, 6.5 percent of gas stations were out of fuel before Tuesday, and at least 1 percent of stations in North Carolina and Florida were completely run dry.
“This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally. Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee, and the East Coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson on Monday. “These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week.”
The panic over gas even prompted North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to declare a state of emergency and temporarily rid the state of some regulations to ensure enough fuel is being produced.
“[The] emergency declaration will help North Carolina prepare for any potential motor vehicle fuel supply interruptions across the state and ensure motorists are able to have access to fuel,” Cooper said in a statement.
While the pipeline has a sizeable impact on the increases in fuel costs, some believe gas price hikes are inevitable with President Joe Biden’s radical energy policies.
“In an effort to appease their socialist base, Democrats have waged a radical war on energy. Now, middle-class Americans are paying the price.” National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesman Mike Berg said on Tuesday.