Hurricane and Holiday Cause Gas Prices to Rise in Oregon, U.S.
(Portland, Oregon) – Gas prices are up for the Labor Day holiday weekend, partially because of the extra travel demand but also due to Hurricane Irene. (Above: the Oregon coast will be a huge destination this weekend. Pictured: near Cannon Beach.)
The average in Oregon is now up to $3.81 a gallon. This has been a nine cent rise in about a week for the state.
Earlier this week, AAA noted the national average for regular unleaded adds four cents to $3.61, and that has since risen as well. After declining for 20 of 22 days in August, the national average for regular unleaded has now increased for more than nine consecutive days
“The projected path of Hurricane Irene on the East Coast covered about 1.36 million barrels per day of refining capacity, and many refineries shut down as a precaution,” AAA said. “Refineries appear to have escaped relatively unscathed.”
Still, wholesale gas prices rose this week to 17 cents a gallon, depending on the region of the country. Some of that was slightly offset by good news in consumer spending, AAA said.
Typically, August is the slowest news month of the year for crude oil and gasoline markets, but this year that has not been the case. This month saw a roller coaster ride in stock market volatility, a historic downgrade of U.S. debt, the imminent fall of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, political unrest in Nigeria, an earthquake on the East Coast and the first hurricane to threaten the U.S. in three years.
Hurricane season will continue yet another month – even though Hurricane Irene has passed.
AAA reports Hawaii has had an average above $4 a gallon for three weeks now.
Oregon is the 12th highest gas price average in the nation, down two places from last week. Washington State was the seventh highest in the nation.
AAA said Portland’s gas price average was the lowest in the state earlier this week, while the Medford/Ashland area had the highest.