Gasoline prices at the pump are surging after Colonial Pipeline, which supplies fuel to wide areas of the eastern US, has shut down - not because of storm damage but because the refineries that supply it are not producing fuel.
Shortly after 4 p.m., his office announced he was declaring a state of emergency in order to temporarily waive restrictions on trucks hauling fuel to North Carolina. The pipeline provides some 40 percent of the Southeast's gasoline. It runs out out of Louisiana, and it's still operating. Once Colonial is able to ensure that its facilities are safe to operate and refiners in Lake Charles and points east have the ability to move product to Colonial, our system will resume operations.
Hurricane Harvey damage assessment leads to the shutdown of two pipelines out of Houston. AAA says in Philadelphia, the average price of a regular gallon is $2.65, an 11 cent jump in a week.
"Until they know everything is okay, they don't want everybody to rush and take all of it they've got, and deplete their supply", he said.
Harvey's devastating strike on the Gulf Coast has prompted one of the summer's largest one-week price surges, AAA reports.
He said the relief effort was his way of giving back to those who need help.
"I hope to do it as long as I can, but with supply stopping I may have to shut it down", said Barker.
The programs already raised a little more than $900 dollars from gasoline sales. But gas stations will eventually have to respond by raising prices for consumers, at least temporarily.
Power outages during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 forced the shutdown of parts of the Colonial Pipeline for several days. It supplies 75 percent of metro Atlanta's gasoline.
The company is instead directing gasoline deliveries to designated stores across all parts of the metro area, QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said. The ongoing gasoline supply issues could reduce East Coast inventories to 3- to 5-year lows, he said by phone from Houston. And while only half the Dallas-Forth Worth area stores will have gasoline, all will remain open, he said.
The Colonial Pipeline runs from the Houston area to the NY harbor and includes more than 5,500 miles of pipeline, most of it underground.
Georgia-based Colonial was twice forced to shut down parts of its pipeline a year ago due to a leak and a fire in Alabama.
If you're having sticker shock at the gas pump, you're not alone.
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