Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Gas Prices

Well That’s a Relief: Hurricane Irene Shouldn’t Affect Gas Prices Much

2:48 PM EDT on August 29, 2011

Now that we've made it through Hurricane Irene, in many cases with less damage than expected, we can turn our attention to the real question: what does this mean for gas prices?

Hurricane Irene certainly had an impact on transportation, but don't expect a lasting change in gas prices from it. Photo: ##http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hurricane+Irene/photos##NY Daily News##

From Lexington, Kentucky to Palm Springs, California, consumers have seen some jump in gas prices over the past week. Some say it may have had to do with the fact that one of the 10 East Coast oil refineries shut down temporarily due to the storm.

But don't blame Irene for all of it. Some of the jump was just market jitters after Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's speech last week. And a predictable spike in demand during the upcoming Labor Day weekend could push prices higher, according to Stephen Schork, publisher of the industry newsletter the Schork Report, quoted by CNNMoney.

Indeed, writes Eric Jaffe in Infrastructurist, Irene likely won't have much impact at all:

After Hurricane Ike, in 2008, fuel costs crept toward $5 a gallon in places. But Ike hit the Gulf Coast, where fuel production is several times greater than it is among East Coast refineries. In addition, the supplies that do exist will go further than normal after Irene, since demand plummeted this weekend in the typically high-traffic Northeast.

CNN even speculates that lagging demand could send fuel prices downward.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog readers have commented that a few days with fewer cars (at least in some places) has been a nice change of pace, and Noah hopes that the event will remind people that it's important to have multiple transportation options. If Irene serves to do that, her impact on transportation would be a heck of a lot more significant than a momentary blip in the price of regular.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Tuesday’s Headlines Look for a Home

The federal government could help families save money by providing more funding for housing near transit.

March 5, 2024

All The Ways That Cars Harm Our Communities (Well, Almost All…)

A new study seeks to quantify everything car culture costs us. Yet there are still more ways that auto-centrism hurts us all.

March 5, 2024

Understanding Car Culture ‘Denialism’ Can Help Safety Advocates Respond

Opponents of change sow confusion with fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations (moving goalposts), conspiracy theories, and selectivity (cherry picking). We can fight back.

March 4, 2024

PROWAG Can Make Cities More Accessible — So Here’s What You Need to Know

America has waited more than 12 years for the Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines to be implemented. Here's why they matter.

March 4, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Don’t Throw Money at Roads

States are flush with cash from the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but they've opted to spend most of it on roads and bridges, and very little on transit.

March 4, 2024
See all posts