Western Pennsylvania Gas Prices Rise as South Endures Storms

Pennsylvania, Gas Prices
Sunrise at gas station by Don DeBold
Photo by Don DeBold https://www.flickr.com/photos/ddebold/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Gas prices in Western Pennsylvania rose by four cents to an average of $2.872 per gallon this week, according to AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report. 

Gas prices in states across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have seen moderate increases following last week’s double-digit increases.  According to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, regional gasoline supplies dropped to 60.5 million last week.  The drop reflects tightening supply due to those refineries still remaining offline after Hurricane Harvey, and prices are increasing for the same reason.

As pipelines and refineries return to their full operations in the region, prices should start to decrease later in the month.  Temporary relief at the pump should also come from extension of the multi-state waiver issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, which will allow states to sell reformulated gasoline without additives that reduce pollution during the summer.

This week’s average prices: Western Pennsylvania Average: $2.872
Average price during the week of September 5, 2017: $2.834
Average price during the week of September 12, 2016: $2.384

The average price of unleaded self-serve gasoline in various areas:      

$2.883      Altoona
$2.881      Beaver
$2.850      Bradford
$2.905      Brookville
$2.872      Butler
$2.855      Clarion
$2.855      Du Bois
$2.892      Erie
$2.882      Greensburg
$2.874      Indiana
$2.928      Jeannette
$2.881      Kittanning
$2.861      Latrobe
$2.815      Meadville
$2.870      Mercer
$2.793      New Castle
$2.879      New Kensington
$2.904      Pittsburgh
$2.880      Sharon
$2.835      Uniontown
$2.863      Warren
$2.930      Washington

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.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 81 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.  Past news releases are available at news.eastcentral.aaa.com.  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

For More Information, Contact:
Jim Garrity, Public & Community Relations Manager
Desk: 412-365-7274 / Cell: 412-905-9021 / Email: Garrity.James@aaaec.com