Broken Pipe May Drive Gas to $3

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A recently discovered leak in a crucial pipeline that carries gasoline to the east coast has resulted in the closure of that pipeline. That leaves many residents of the eastern United States wondering how much gas prices will rise, and whether local service stations will run out of gasoline.

CNN Money commented on the pipeline closure:

A section of the Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Houston to New York, has been closed since Sept. 9 after a spill of roughly 250,000 gallons was discovered in rural Shelby County, Ala.

The major pipeline, one pipe of which has been severed, provides gasoline for an estimated 50 million people on the East Coast each day, according to company estimates. The cause of the leak has yet to be determined.

Parts of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee are expected to be the first markets to suffer potential supply disruptions. The pipeline operator does not expect full service to resume until next week, at the soonest.

The national average for a gallon of regular was about $2.18 on Friday, according to GasBuddy. That was essentially the same as a week ago but up about a nickel in the past month. The average price in Georgia is just below average, at $2.16 a gallon, while in North Carolina it is $2.06, Tennessee at $2.02 and Alabama and South Carolina at $1.94.

The last time gas averaged more than $3 a gallon in the United States was back in 2014.