As many drivers have noticed, gas prices within the last two weeks have increased in a significant and unprecedented way. Why a gallon of unleaded gasoline would have otherwise cost around $2.00 in this season suddenly spiked to $2.69 and up left many drivers appalled, and with good reason. So what exactly caused this sudden increase?
While perhaps the clearest explanation would be the recent hurricane that hit Houston, Rockport, and surrounding cities provides a partial view (Port Arthur, one of the nation’s largest oil refinery, had an emergency shutdown due to Hurricane Harvey), there are other factors to consider that can help further explain this situation.
Don’t Get Carried Away
When Hurricane Harvey was in full motion, many news sources stated that gas stations in North Texas could suffer from a shortage in gasoline. This caused hundreds and thousands of people to go to gas stations and quickly refuel their cars, even if they did not need gasoline at the time. Essentially, many people believed the “hype” that there was not going to be any gasoline left, which caused an disproportionate amount of people to go to gasoline stations and decrease their supplies. This caused two things. First, gas stations were forced to increase the price of the cost of gas per gallon. This was done in order to try to decrease the amount of traffic going into gas stations by making prices unattractive. However, people kept swarming in to gas stations, which caused gas supplies to drop.
Eventually, gas stations were forced to place bags over their gas nozzles, signaling that they no longer had gasoline. This, in combination to a decrease in gasoline transportation from Houston and other major cities affected by Hurricane Harvey, caused a gas shortage in North Texas.
For this reason, it is suggested to take rational and logical steps when facing news sources that offer skeptic information. Whenever a strong storm like a hurricane hits, it is important to stay calm. By staying calm, unnecessary problems, such as a city-wide gas shortage, could potentially be avoided.
Will Gas Prices Drop?
Even though the factors above help explain the sudden increase in gas prices, there is good news - gas prices are decreasing once again. Now that Hurricane Harvey ended and the cities are starting to repair, transportation companies that were once stalled are back in business, meaning that you should be able to see big rigs carrying gasoline again. This will cause gas stations to increase their supplies levels, which means that prices can return to a normal market. For this reason, you should expect your local gas station to have its prices dropping as more and more fuel comes in.
Finally, it is important to continue helping people who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas cities and elsewhere. Giving others a helping hand is essential to speeding up the recovery time for Texas from the hurricane, and we must remember to place others before us when they are in desperate need.