With Memorial Day Weekend looming, gas prices across Texas shot up by more than 20 cents, including in the Dallas area — in one day.
Prices rose from Monday through Tuesday by more than 20 cents in some parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, and it may not slow down anytime soon. The cause? Depending on who you ask, or the data you pull from, it appears to be a combination of demand, speculation and uncertainty caused by the ransomware attack against a pipeline that originates in Texas.
The Automobile Association of America said the attack could limit some supply across the southeast, but that it would be limited.
“The shutdown of Colonial Pipeline will have varying impacts on both gasoline supply and pump prices across the country the longer it is offline,” said AAA-Texas spokesman Joshua Zuber, who added these are not shortages and urged people not to stockpile gasoline.
Wednesday’s average price of about $2.84 per gallon was the highest since Memorial Day Weekend in 2018. However, data from Gas Buddy reveals this is one of the steepest run-ups in price before the holiday weekend in nearly a decade.
On Monday, gas prices were about $2.65 per gallon before jumping by 20 cents or more overnight.
On May 1, gasoline in the Dallas area was averaging about $2.60 per gallon.
The pipeline attack forced the shutdown of critical delivery of jet fuel, refined petroleum, fuel oil and gasoline to thousands of businesses and plants across the southeast.
In North Carolina, 28% of gas stations were out of fuel, according to Gasbuddy.com, a technology firm that tracks real-time fuel prices across the country. In Raleigh-Durham, it was worse, with 72% of gas stations out of fuel.
North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper urged people Wednesday to only buy gas if their tank is low and to report any instances of price gouging.
"We will continue our efforts to help make sure there is an adequate supply of fuel,” Cooper wrote on Twitter.
Cooper declared a state of emergency Monday, initiating fuel waivers that make it easier to transport fuel into the state.
Georgians were also getting squeezed, with 17.5% of stations there out of gas, according to Gasbuddy.com. In Virginia, 17% of stations were out, and in South Carolina, 16% had no fuel.
A large part of the pipeline resumed operations manually late Monday, and Colonial anticipates restarting most of its operations by the end of the week, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Tuesday.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)