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>> Not what a driver wants to see during the upcoming busy Labor Day travel weekend. Some, not taking any chances. Filling up canisters to go, just in case. Widespread flooding caused by Harvey forcing refineries along the Gulf Coast that are responsible for turning crude oil into products like gasoline and jet fuel to shut down.
4.4 million barrels of refining capacity has been knocked offline, and there's nothing to replace it says Reuters' energy market's reporter, Davika Krshna Kumar.>> There is a strategic reserve of gasoline in the northeast, which was set up after Hurricane Sandy. And that interestingly, is one of the things that the Trump Administration suggested that we get rid of in the new budget.
But even that 1 million barrels, if they were released right now, according to this analyst, it would barely last about two hours, considering how high the US demand is.>> Pipelines traditionally only carry five days worth of inventory. Supplies are quickly dwindling, and gasoline prices are surging. The national average for a gallon of gas predicted to top two year highs above $2.50, and the impact stretches beyond US shores.
>> Because the Gulf Coast is a refining hub, we also export a lot of refined products to different countries. So not only are US consumers taking a hit, it's also Latin America that is feeling the effect of the loss of supplies from the Gulf Coast, because the ports had to shut down in Texas and Louisiana, and these are two major areas that the US operates out of both for imports and exports.
>> The U.S. government stepping in to relax regulations in 38 states and Washington DC. But experts say, that's not enough to stop the pain at the pump, that will be around until mid-September at best.