After jumping by 43 cents last week, gas prices in West Central Kentucky fell by a nickel this week to an average of $2.575 per gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report.
The Great Lakes and Central States region is seeing both increases and decreases at the pump. The volatility stems mostly from Hurricane Harvey’s impact on gasoline supply distribution and a 1 million barrel drop in the region’s gasoline supply. The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest report shows Midwest gasoline inventories remain steady at 51 million barrels.
This week’s average prices: Western Central KY Average $2.575
Average price during the week of September 5, 2017 $2.626
Average price during the week of September 12, 2016 $2.053
Average prices of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:
$2.586 Bowling Green
On the National Front
For the first time in more than 15 days, the national gas price average appears to be leveling out despite Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma making landfall in the southeast. Holding steady for five days at $2.67, today’s national gas price average is just three cents more expensive on the week. With a seven cents increase, Florida, Indiana and Georgia were among the top 10 states that saw the largest gas price increases on the week, while some states saw gas prices drop by one to six cents (Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Delaware and Oklahoma). At the end of last week, some Florida and other Southeast states saw consumers flock to gas stations to fill-up on fuel, causing some stations to have gas outages ahead of the storm.
Early reports indicate that Irma has left more than four million people without power, while water and debris cover roadways. Florida Power & Light (FPL) has 17,000 personnel from over 30 states on standby to aid restoration efforts. Once power is restored and roads cleared, gasoline will be able to be delivered to stations in the impacted region, similar to what the Gulf Coast experienced post-Harvey.
Currently, all Florida ports are closed while some in North and South Carolina are open with restrictions. To alleviate local supply disruptions, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved a Jones Act waiver for areas affected by the storms. The seven-day waiver will allow foreign flag vessels to bring in fuel to help with outages amid the response and recovery efforts.
As Floridians wait out the storm, Americans along the Gulf Coast continue to recover from Hurricane Harvey. According to the Department of Energy, at least five refineries in the Gulf Coast are operating at reduced rates, which accounts for eight percent of U.S. refining capacity. Six refineries are in the process of restarting, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. refining capacity. Five refineries remain shutdown, accounting for six percent of U.S. refining capacity. The restarting process can take several days or weeks, depending on damage. The Colonial Pipeline continues to experience a delivery delay of up to a week to Mid-Atlantic states.