AAA: Hurricane Harvey causes gas prices to swell

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Paying at gas station, gas pump_230971

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Hurricane Harvey is affecting gas prices across the nation, and both Rhode Island and Massachusetts drivers paying significantly more for gas than they did just one week prior, according to AAA Northeast.

Rhode Island drivers are now paying 35 cents more per gallon than they did last week, with the average price for self-serve, regular unleaded gas averaging at $2.69 per gallon, AAA Northeast’s latest survey found. Meanwhile, Massachusetts drivers are paying 44 cents more per gallon with self-serve, regular unleaded gas averaging $2.70 per gallon – the highest price recorded locally in two years.

Mary Maguire, AAA Northeast’s Director of Public and Legislative Affairs, said the high prices are not caused by a lack of fuel supply, rather the inability to transport it from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast.

“As refineries come back online and the Colonial Pipeline resumes operations, those issues will eventually be resolved,” Maguire explained. “We would hope and expect that these spikes are short term and prices will soon return to their traditional post-Labor Day levels.”

The price of gas in Massachusetts is five cents above the current national average of $2.65 per gallon, while Rhode Island’s is four cents below the national average. A year ago, the average price in Massachusetts was 59 cents lower, averaging at $2.11. In Rhode Island, the average price of gas a year ago was 51 cents lower, averaging at $2.18.

The latest AAA survey lists a range of prices for unleaded regular in Massachusetts at 36 cents, with a low of $2.53 to a high of $2.89. The survey also lists the range of Rhode Island prices, for unleaded regular at 42 cents, with a low of $2.42 to a high of $2.84.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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