Refinery maintenance behind new gas price spike

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(NewsNation) — The national average for gas is close to $4 a gallon, marking the second week prices have gone up, the AAA reported Monday.

Hurricane Ian’s destruction did close some refineries in the Florida Gulf Coast over the past weekend, but the tropical storm is not fully to blame.

Instead, AAA says refinery issues in the West and Midwest are what’s behind the current average of price per gallon of $3.80 — which is up from $3.71 a week ago.

“The regional differences in gas prices are stark at the moment, with prices on the West Coast hitting $6 a gallon and higher, while Texas and Gulf Coast states have prices dipping below $3 in some areas.” said Andrew Gross, an AAA spokesperson, in a statement.

“At least six California refineries are undergoing maintenance, and there is limited pipeline supply to the West Coast from locations east of the Rockies,” he continued.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the average price of oil per barrel fell below $80 per barrel for the first time since January — a price analysts expect that to go back up to around $90 Wednesday, once Opec Plus meets.

But gas prices had been falling for 99 straight days until the Fed announced that interest rate hike and fears of a recession kicked up once again.

The price hike is also not close to what Americans were seeing back in June when the average price per gallon was more than $5. With rising Fed interest rates, gas prices could still increase.

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