UPDATE: National gas price average hits $3, first time since 2014; locals cautious

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UPDATE POSTED 10:15 A.M. WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/GasBuddy) – With a cyberattack and growing demand both at work, the national average price of gasoline passed the $3 per gallon mark Wednesday, according to GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app used by more North American drivers to save money on gas.

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This is a milestone not seen since David Letterman still hosted Late Night, Pharrell’s hat was introduced to the world, and Kim and Kanye got hitched.

GasBuddy previously prognosticated that gas prices may escalate past the key barrier in its 2021 Fuel Outlook released in January of this year. While many Americans are pointing fingers, they should be pointing at the same factor GasBuddy mentioned months ago: COVID-19 related recovery is pushing things back to normal and leading to rising gasoline demand.

“While this is not a milestone anyone wants to celebrate, it’s a sign that things are slowly returning to normal,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “In this case, rising gas prices are a sign Americans are getting back out into the world — attending baseball games, going to concerts, taking a road trip — basically staying anywhere but at home. This summer may see some blockbuster demand for fuel as well, as Americans find it very challenging to travel internationally, leading many to stay in the confines of U.S. borders, boosting some weeks to potentially record gasoline demand.”

GasBuddy expects summer gas prices not to set records, but settle down to levels more similar to 2018: the national average briefly rising above $3/gallon but eventually falling back under and remaining in the upper $2 to low $3 per gallon range. Should any major refinery issues develop in the midst of the summer travel season, gas prices could become impacted in a large way, especially if the economy continues to see solid recovery and demand for fuels increases.

Previous yearly peaks in gas prices and date:

Jan 9, 2020 = $2.60
May 5, 2019 = $2.89
May 27, 2018 = $2.97
Sept 9, 2017 = $2.66
June 12, 2016 = $2.38

For those trying to stretch their hard earned dollars into more miles, GasBuddy suggests shopping around at the pump and driving less aggressively: the savings could add up to $477 per year, or roughly $10 per tank.

ORIGINAL STORY

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gasoline has become the new toilet paper panic buying item as people fear a potential gas shortage and spike in prices after the cyber-attack on the Colonial pipeline.

While there were not any long lines at the gas stations Tuesday night in Lexington, there have been reports of long lines at stations in parts of Eastern and Western Kentucky.

Some reports also state that some stations are running out of gas because of the rush to fill up, while others are now limiting the amount of gas customers can buy.

20-year-old Grayson Frustaci expressed his concerns with the rising prices.

“It worries me, you know, because it’s like I’m used to gas being a little cheaper to where I can put more in and go out a little more, but it’s not even worth going out anymore because everything is so high up.”

The ransomware cyber-attack that started all of this, hit a Georgia-based company that delivers about 45 percent of the fuel to the East Coast.

Tuesday night, U.S. Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese convened the inter-agency principals leading the administration’s whole of government response to the Colonial Pipeline incident.

The group discussed the latest updates on fuel supply in the affected region, and steps that agencies have taken and are considering to further alleviate the supply shortages.

The Department of Transportation announced last night that they are allowing Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to use Interstate highways in their State to transport overweight loads of gasoline and other fuels, under existing disaster declarations.

And, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a second emergency fuel waiver expanding on a waiver that EPA issued yesterday morning for the District of Columbia and areas of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The second waiver waives the requirements for low volatility conventional gasoline and Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) for the District of Columbia and areas of Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and also includes Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Specific Counties of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

DOT’s Maritime Administration concluded their assessment of what assets are available in the Jones Act fleet to carry petroleum products within the Gulf, and from the Gulf up the Eastern Seaboard. The Department of Homeland Security stands ready to review any temporary Jones Act waiver requests from companies that demonstrate there is not sufficient capacity on Jones Act-qualified vessels to carry fuel to the affected region.

ORIGINAL STORY

New York (CNN Business)Gas stations in the southeastern United States face significant outages Wednesday as the Colonial Pipeline shutdown stretches into a sixth day, sparking panic-buying that is exacerbating the supply crunch.

As of 7 a.m. ET, 24.8% of all gas stations in North Carolina, 15.4% in Georgia and 15% in Virginia are without gasoline, according to GasBuddy, an app that tracks fuel demand, prices and outages. All figures are higher than late Tuesday.
Outages were also reported in South Carolina (13.4%), Florida (4.2%), Maryland (3.5%) and Tennessee (2.8%)
Experts and officials pleaded with Americans not to hoard gasoline in the wake of the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline because overconsumption will only make the situation worse.
Meanwhile, average prices at the pump climbed above the key psychological milestone of $3 a gallon on Wednesday for the first time in more than six years, according to AAA.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm strongly urged Americans not to hoard gas during a White House press briefing Tuesday. She also called on gas station owners to “act responsibly” and avoid price gouging during the supply crunch.
“The American people can feel assured that this administration is working with the company to get it resumed as soon as possible, Granholm said.
The Colonial Pipeline, which supplies nearly half the gasoline and diesel to the East Coast, set a goal on Monday of “substantially restoring operational service” by the end of the week.
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Kaitlyn Shive joined the ABC36 News Team in January 2021 as a Multimedia Journalist. Kaitlyn comes to us from Joplin, Missouri, where she worked as an MMJ and Fill in Anchor for KOAM News/Fox 14 for over a year and a half. She is a Kentucky girl at heart, growing up in Louisville for a good portion of her life before her family moved to Mason, OH in 2012. She graduated from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University with a Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Journalism. She also graduated with specializations in Marketing and Media, and with a Social Media Certificate. She is thrilled to be back in the Bluegrass State and to be closer to friends and family in the Cincinnati and Louisville areas. She can not wait to get to know the Lexington, Kentucky area and its people. If you have a story idea or tip, she is just a DM or email away. You can contact her on Facebook: kaitlynshiveTV, on Twitter: KaitlynShiveTV or by email: kshive@wtvq.com. Kaitlyn Shive ABC 36 Reporter 859-333-3390 kshive@wtvq.com