Fuel-reliant businesses taking financial hit as gas prices skyrocket

Business News

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) ─ When your job relies on fuel each day, every penny can make a difference.

Mike Dowling, owner of Mike’s Landscaping, tells 12 News that, between fueling his trucks, lawn mowers and weed whackers, his wallet has taken a hit this year.

“I’m spending more every day when I’m going to the gas station,” he said. “$100 bucks, easy.”

He’s not alone. Ever since the Colonial Pipeline fell victim to a cyberattack last week, Americans have been forced to shell out more money at the pump.

In Rhode Island, gas prices increased by 5 cents per gallon this week, according to AAA, and panic-buying amid the pipeline shutdown sent the national average above $3 per gallon for the first time since 2016.

Dowling said he’s seen several landscapers post on social media about their struggles not only purchasing, but buying fuel.

“I’ve actually seen guys that had to cancel their mow list for the week because they couldn’t get fuel,” he said.

The pipeline restarted Wednesday, however, Colonial Pipeline said it will take several days for deliveries to return to normal.

While a gas shortage remains a possibility, right now, there’s an adequate supply of fuel. Rep. Jim Langevin encouraged everyone to stop panic-buying gas because then that will make a supply shortage more likely.

“People need to be calm and realize that the supply will get caught up and back online very soon,” he said.

But if gas prices continue to climb, Dowling said so will the price of his services.

“At some point, it’s going to start affecting the bottom line,” he said. “If gas keeps going up over $3.50, $4, I’m going to have to start raising prices.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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