Current Gasoline Price in Midwest Still High due to Hurricane

Fallout from the Gulf Coast hurricane in the previous month has kept the midwest’s current gasoline prices higher. Nebraska’s average gasoline price today is 22 cents higher than it was a month ago. It has stayed that way for almost five weeks now, according to AAA Nebraska spokeswoman, Rose White. In Iowa, the prices at the pump have risen 25 cents over the same period.

Typically, the cost of gasoline falls after Labor Day when demand for fuel drops and the season for summer travel ends. However, that has not yet occurred this year. White sees the spike as temporary, anticipating that current gasoline prices will fall as crude production resumes and demand keeps on dropping due to the fall season.

The gasoline price today showed some signs of that price drop, with several stations cutting prices by over 10 cents.  Nebraska’s regular unleaded gas price today is $3.91 per gallon, a level that is higher by 17 cents compared to the same period in the past year. While Iowa’s regular unleaded gas price today is 18 cents higher versus the same period last year, at $3.84 per gallon.

Hurricane Isaac, which closed down oil refineries in Mississippi and Louisiana for almost a week during the past month, is the main reason for the higher fuel prices in Nebraska. Although there is no gas shortage nationwide, the Gulf Coast is trying to make up for the lost production, particularly the 772,000 oil barrels daily from refineries and 1.4 million daily imported oil barrels during the hurricane.  The Midwest is hit the hardest since much of its fuel and crude is provided by the Gulf Coast.

By: Chris Termeer