The national average for gas prices has now surged to $3 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association, the most expensive since October 2014.
The increase comes as over 1,000 fuel stations across the East Coast have reported gasoline outages following Friday’s cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline.
However, GasBuddy, which operates apps and websites based on finding real-time fuel prices at more than 140,000 gas stations, continues to attribute the rise to the COVID-19 recovery bringing life back to normal and leading to an increase in demand.
GasBuddy expects summer gas prices will settle in the upper $2 to low $3 per gallon range.
“Should any major refinery issues develop in the midst of the summer travel season, gas prices could become impacted in a large way, especially if the economy continues to see solid recovery and demand for fuels increases,” the firm added.
According to the latest gasoline outage data shared by GasBuddy’s senior petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan, North Carolina remains the state hardest hit by the disruption as of 6 a.m. CT, followed by Georgia at 15.4%, Virginia at 15%, South Carolina at 13.4%, Florida at 4.2%, Maryland at 3.5%, Tennessee at 2.8% and Alabama at 1.8%.
Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina are all under a state of emergency in response to the disruption.