KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Prices at the pump are shooting up as fuel refineries along the Gulf Coast halt production ahead of Hurricane Isaac.
On Monday, the average price for a gallon of gasoline across the nation rose to $3.75 a gallon, and analysts report that prices could reach $3.80 by the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
According to the Associated Press, refinery owners often shut down operations in advance of a storm due to the massive amounts of electricity needed to refine crude oil into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and heating oil.
In the event of a power outage, it can take days or weeks to clean partially-cooked oil out of pipes and restart the refinery.
Analysts say that around one million barrels per day of refining abilty is expected to be shut down by Isaac. The U.S. consumes around 19 million barrels every day.
The rise in fuel prices comes as the price of crude oil falls due to a lower short-term demand. Oil production in the Gulf is not expected to be affected by the relatively weak Isaac – at this point predicted to only be a Category One hurricane when it makes landfall.