Experts say gas prices increasing from COVID-19, not shut down pipeline

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The average price for gas surpassed $3 per gallon. It has been nearly 7 years since gas prices have been this high.

As states in the southeast and along the east coast struggle with a pipeline shutdown and panic buying, will the Ozarks feel the impact?

While many are likely pointing fingers at the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, experts at Gas Buddy say rising prices are actually related to COVID-19 recovery.

“The first thinking is ‘Oh boy, prices are going to sky rocket and I need to fill everything I can with gas,'” said Patrick De Haan, with Gas Buddy. “And so, it’s a self-fulling prophecy that actually makes the problem much more acute.”

People spending less time at home, and more time on the road is pushing everything back to normal, including costs at the pump.

Experts also say people hoarding gasoline is the primary factor for shortages for eastern states.

The pipeline was taken offline last week when hackers targeted its computer systems.

“Does it affect your wallet at all? Yes very much so, at 97 years old, very much so,” said Pete Dye, a local driver.

Locals in the industry say the problem is only regional. Here in Springfield, gas is flowing as usual and refineries in nearby Kansas and Oklahoma likely won’t feel the impacts.

Gas Buddy also says a large part of the Colonial Pipeline system is back online and much of the rest of expected to be restarted by the end of the week.

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