Verify: Will Hurricane Harvey impact gas prices?

WUSA9 verifies if Hurricane Harvey will impact gas prices.

QUESTION:

Will Hurricane Harvey impact gas prices?

ANSWER: 

Yes, we can verify Hurricane Harvey's impact will mean you're paying more at the pump. But, the experts predict, whatever price hike happens will be temporary.

SOURCES: 

John Townsend, Public Affairs Manager, AAA

PROCESS: 

The Texas Coast is home to almost half of America's refineries that turn oil into the gas you buy at the pump. They turn out more than a million and a half barrels of oil every day. That accounts for 17 percent of America's total crude oil production.

Here's the bottom line: Hurricane Harvey is plowing a destructive path through a big part of the nation's infrastructure.

The major oil companies have evacuated workers to safety and, slowed down production. That means, in the next few weeks, there will be less oil to refine into gas for your vehicle.

“You may see a spike in prices and that is to be expected in certain parts of the country especially along the gulf coast, the deep south, and even in parts of the eastern seaboard, including Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland," John Townsend, AAA Public Affairs Manager. 

Right now, you're paying an average of $2.55 a gallon in the D.C. area. Triple A predicts the hurricane will increase prices up to 15 cents.

So, if you're planning to drive over Labor Day weekend, plan to pay about $2.70 a gallon.

If the storm doesn't have too big an impact on oil facilities, you might pay a bit less.

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