Hurricane Harvey’s impact on the oil refineries and infrastructure of Texas and the Gulf Coast has led to gas prices rising sharply across South Carolina.
University of South Carolina business economist Joey Von Nessen told South Carolina Radio Network drivers should only feel pain at the pump for the short term “I don’t think that this something people need to be overly concerned with,” Von Nessen said.
He did say if the higher prices go even higher for an extended period, that could be a bad sign the impact will last beyond the storm’s immediate aftermath. “If we were to see, for example, this price increase to persist for several weeks to a couple of months, that would have fairly high impactions and effects,” Von Nessen added.
The higher prices will also have a short-term impact on what else people are going to spend their money.
In the ten days after Harvey, the average gas price across South Carolina increased by 30-50 cents a gallon.
CNBC reports the Colonial Pipeline, the biggest U.S. fuel system located in Texas, was shut off due to Hurricane Harvey. The pipeline hauls more than 3 million barrels per day of refined products including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from the Gulf Coast refining hub through the Southeast. The pipe is scheduled to reopen this week.
Colonial’s 5,500-mile system begins in Houston and ends in Linden, New Jersey, serving seven airports and other facilities.