Local gasoline prices haven’t been affected by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, but drivers could notice a slight uptick in the coming days.
Colonial Pipeline, which claims to supply gasoline to nearly half of the East Coast, was hit by a cyber attack over the weekend and temporarily shut down the line that extends from Louisiana, through the Southeast and up into New York.
Jeanette McGee, a spokesperson for AAA, said the shutdown would affect both the supply and prices of gasoline, but that the impact would vary depending on the region of the country.
“Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week,” McGee said. “These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week.”
So far, there doesn’t appear to have been an impact on local gas prices, judging from a quick survey of stations Monday afternoon. Prices ranged from $2.59 per gallon at the Walmart on Pepperell Parkway in Opelika up to $2.75 at a couple of spots on the parkway and near Tiger Town.
Gas prices are typically set by wholesalers for their customers, in order to prevent one customer from undercutting the wholesaler’s other customers in the area. In addition, gas stations are legally prohibited from gouging their customers with sudden, steep price hikes in response to a public emergency.
None of the gas stations contacted Monday reported getting any guidance from their wholesalers that a significant price jump per gallon is in the offing.
Anyone wanting to keep an eye on gas prices in the area can do so by visiting gasbuddy.com.