Harvey, holiday weekend to blame for rise in gas prices

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Gas prices are once again on the rise in Southern New England.

According to GasBuddy, the average cost per gallon in Rhode Island rose 1.5 cents in the past week, averaging $2.32 per gallon. With Labor Day weekend coming up and devastation along the Texas Gulf Coast, the rise is to be expected.

“Gas prices are up in many places and motorists should be gearing up for more in the coming weeks, thanks to Hurricane Harvey inundating significant refineries along the Texas coastline, leading to closures and tilting the delicate balance of supply and demand,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “Prices will likely rise nearly country wide heading into Labor Day, from rural towns in the Rockies to major cities in the Midwest and West Coast- nearly everyone will feel a bit of a pinch at the pump from Harvey.”

The national average has gone up 3.9 cents per gallon, up to $2.36 per gallon.

Massachusetts is also on the rise, up 1.8 cents in the last week to $2.33 per gallon on average.

Gas prices in Providence are up 11.8 cents compared to this time last year, though GasBuddy says prices have varied widely over the last five years. Their archives show prices were $2.20 per gallon in 2016, $2.46 per gallon in 2015, $3.53 per gallon in 2014, $3.72 per gallon in 2013 and $3.83 per gallon in 2012.