UNDATED – Amidst the Colonial Pipeline saga, the national average price of gasoline today has surpassed the $3 per gallon mark in Indiana.
This is a milestone not seen since 2014.
Gas would have reached the $3 mark even if the pipeline shutdown did not occur, according to Gasbuddy.com. The reason for this price increase is due to COVID-19 recovery in demand paired with slow improvement in supply.
Gas prices in Lawrence County this morning ranged from $2.90 to $2.85 a gallon.
There have been reports all over the country of problems getting gas. This is partially due to the rising demand and falling supply in some areas.
“Part of the problem is not that there is a shortage of gasoline,” according to Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy. “There is plenty of it. It’s getting it to the stations as quickly as they need to refuel their tanks. The problem is Americans are filling up so quickly that it’s hard for stations to have enough truckers to deliver it from the rack to the station’s fuel tanks”
The bigger issue is there is an ongoing shortage of truck drivers nationwide, which is becoming problematic.
“Prior to COVID, and prior to 2020, there was a truck driver shortage looming and it was made worse by COVID,” De Haan added.
Since the pandemic is slowing and restrictions easing, the demand for gasoline is rising
“There is plenty of gasoline, refineries are churning it out, but it is making that last mile transit from the rack to the terminal,” De Haan said. “You may encounter a station that is temporarily out, but there is not a shortage. It’s more like a temporary kink in the hose. If you don’t absolutely need it, just wait a day or two.”
Experts say the issues with gas stations temporarily running out should not be widespread, just to be patient if you do experience a station with a shortage.