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Outages in Texas spark increases locally at the gas pump

Pumps in the Harrisonburg region are averaging $2.56, up 10 cents from a week ago, 17 cents...
Pumps in the Harrisonburg region are averaging $2.56, up 10 cents from a week ago, 17 cents from a month ago, and 37 cents from a year ago.(WHSV)
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 8:20 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - If you filled up your gas tank this week, you may have noticed some big changes at the pump.

All of this is a direct result of the Gulf Coast refineries being impacted by power outages due to winter weather in Texas, said Morgan Dean, with AAA Mid-Atlantic.

As of Feb. 19, the Virginia average is up to $2.48, which is up 10 cents from last week, 49 cents from a month ago, and 28 cents from a year ago.

Pumps in the Harrisonburg region are averaging $2.56, up 10 cents from a week ago, 17 cents from a month ago, and 37 cents from a year ago.

Texas is experiencing an unprecedented time, but Dean said there is some hope refineries can get restarted by next week.

“It could be a little bit longer than that. The big problem is that these refineries need power themselves to convert the crude oil to gas, as well as natural gas to run some of these systems, and both of those are in very short supply because of everything Texas is going through right now,” Dean said.

If refineries do not get up and going, Dean said it’s possible drivers will see another 10 to 15 cent increase at the pump in the next few days.

Dean said impacts on gas prices right now are comparable to what we see in the past when Gulf Coast hurricanes occur.

“We had a lot of that last summer, but when hurricanes came through, there was an abundance of supply out there and demand was really low so it didn’t affect gas prices,” Dean said.

He said the next step for Texas refineries is turning the power back on and getting natural gas back into refineries to get them back up and running again.

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