Atlanta Runs Out Of Gas, Prices Spike To $5 A Gallon

Andrew Follett | Energy and Science Reporter

Gas prices in Atlanta spiked to almost $5 dollars a gallon Monday after a pipeline broke, causing a major disruption in fuel shipments.

This has caused gas prices to spike across much of the south, with stations charging as much as $4.59. The price spike has caused the governor of Georgia to sign an executive order preventing gas prices from rising considerably more. The average price per gallon for regular gasoline in Atlanta climbed to $2.40 Sunday, up from $2.17 just a week ago.

“It’s price-gouging. Taking advantage of the situation. It’s the only place that’s got (gas) in our area and we’re on empty,” one driver told The Associated Press.

Construction has already begun on a temporary pipeline which will bypass the leaking section. The company gave no timetable as to when the temporary bypass line would be completed.

Despite the high prices in Georgia, national gas prices are incredibly cheap. The average American currently pays $2.18 per gallon of gasoline, according to a report by the American Automobile Association (AAA). Average gas prices dropped below $2-a-gallon in January and gas prices are 18 cents per gallon less than at the same time last year.

Federal government energy analysts predict that the national average gas price will remain below $2.00 a gallon for the year — the lowest projection since 2004. Just last year, consumers paid an average gasoline price of $2.40 per gallon.

Energy prices dropped 41 percent over the course of 2015 due to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).  Between June, 2014, and February, 2016, the price for oil and natural gas fell by 71 and 56 percent respectively due to fracking, making the price of gasoline and electricity fall to historic lows

The average American currently pays $2.21 per gallon of gasoline, according to a report by the American Automobile Association (AAA). Average gas prices dropped below $2 a gallon in January and gas prices are 18 cents per gallon less than at the same time last year.  Fracking for oil and natural gas have saved the average American household $747.30 annually since 2008, according to an EIA report.

Experts generally agree that today’s relatively cheap gas prices are due to inexpensive oil and cheap natural gas-fired electricity provided by fracking and horizontal drilling. The Obama administration has repeatedly taken legal action against the practice of fracking, but conversely then claims credit for cheaper gasoline at the pump. Obama took credit for $2 dollar gas in his 2015 State Of The Union and did so again last week.

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