Gas prices expected to jump

There is likely to be larger jumps in gas prices in May, according to an article from the American Automobile Association (AAA), which also said gas prices had risen 6 cents on the week and that they are likely to go even higher because of the Colonial Pipeline shutdown.

On average, according to AAA, the average Ohio gas price went up that exact amount, from $2.77 per gallon to $2.83 per gallon, over the past week.

AAA said the stable crude oil prices during a time of “fluctuating” demand helped keep the national gas price jumps to a nominal level in April.

“While April saw minimal fluctuation, May is likely to see much larger increases alongside demand spikes, especially closer to Memorial Day weekend,” Jeanette McGee, a AAA spokesperson, said. “Compared to May 2019, U.S. gasoline demand is down only 4 percent and gas prices are on average just 2 cents more.”

AAA said it calculates that the Colonial Pipeline shutdown will cause gas price hikes. It said the pipeline delivers about 45 percent of all of the fuel to the East Coast.

“This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally. Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week,” McGee said. “These states may see prices increase 3 to 7 cents this week.”

AAA also said that once the pipeline does go back to normal, there could still be “residual delays” as the fuel takes about 15 to 18 days to flow from Texas to New York. The organization gave recommendations on how to conserve fuel, as well as advising to not panic-buy: Run multiple errands in one trip, remove unnecessary and bulky items from your car, minimize the use of air-conditioning.

Colonial Pipeline is officially updating the situation on its website at through its news links.

“On May 7, Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack and has since determined that the incident involved ransomware,” the pipeline said. “Quickly after learning of the attack, Colonial proactively took certain systems offline to contain the threat. These actions temporarily halted all pipeline operations and affected some of our IT systems, which we are actively in the process of restoring.”

On May 10, the pipeline said that segments of the pipeline are being brought back online in a stepwise fashion.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

This is a picture of a sign showing gas prices at the United Dairy Farmers store in Hillsboro. is a picture of a sign showing gas prices at the United Dairy Farmers store in Hillsboro. Jacob Clary | The Times-Gazette
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