Are Gas Prices Rising in Siouxland, Because of Hurricane Isaac?

More than 40 percent of oil refineries in the U.S. are along the Gulf Coast, and about half of them are directly in the path of Hurricane Isaac. High winds and rain forced those refineries to close, and when this happens, gas prices go up, because there's less fuel to go around.

It's no secret that gas prices are on the rise, in fact according to AAA the national average is $3.75 a gallon, and that's 26 cents higher than it was last month.

"Even before two weeks ago, it's been slowly creeping up," trucker John Nasers said.

Nasers would know, because he hauls fertilizer all over the Midwest in his 18-wheeler.

"The four states that we travel in, they all stay competitive. I mean, the fuel road use tax is about the same in all the state, but everyone seems to be competitive," he said.

Last weekend, gas prices climbed even higher, because 8 oil refineries along the Gulf of Mexico closed to prepare for Hurricane Isaac. So how does a Hurricane that's more than 1500 miles away affect Siouxland gas stations? There's less gas to go around, so the price goes up.

"Living in Iowa, I want to do what I can to help the people down south, with the hurricane, so you know gong above and beyond to help them, yea I'm willing to do that, but I just think we should be able to have our resources available to Iowa too," Siouxland resident Tammy Johnsen said.

Fortunately the U.S. has a back-up plan. It's called the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an underground reservoir that can store 727 million barrels of crude oil in salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana. It's for emergency purposes, and according AAA, the administration was considering tapping into it, in the wake of the storm.

Even though gas prices are nearly 4 dollars a gallon, new fuel efficiency standards could help you get more bang for your buck. The Obama administration announced today a plan to increase fuel economy in cars and light trucks to nearly 55 miles per gallon by 20-25.
The program's goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving consumers 1.7 trillion dollars at the pump and cutting U-S oil consumption by 12 billion barrels.

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