Hurricane Isaac has caused the sharpest overnight spike in gas prices in the Carolinas since Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, according to AAA Carolinas.
Businessweek noted that South Carolina fuel prices shot up nearly eight cents a gallon to nearly $3.58 on Wednesday. In the Upstate, which typically has the lowest gas prices, the increase was almost 11 cents. Gas was up more than five cents a gallon in North Carolina with the average price $3.73, while prices in the Asheville, N.C. area were up more than six cents.
During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, prices jumped almost 16 cents a gallon in South Carolina and almost 12 cents in North Carolina, marking the sharpest single overnight gas price increase in the history of the region, Businessweek reported.
Gas prices in the Midwest were also impacted with fuel prices climbing by 12 cents in Michigan, during the past day to a statewide average of about $4.05 per gallon as Hurricane Isaac made landfall.
AAA expects fuel prices to continue to grow as long as Hurricane Isaac wreaks havoc on Gulf of Mexico oil operations, predicting that prices at the pump will be the highest ever for the U.S. Labor Day holiday.
This spike in fuel prices during the election season reignites an issue that has put President Barack Obama, who has called for the elimination of billions of dollars of subsidies for the oil and gas industry, at odds with the presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. It also has caused speculation that Obama might release supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ease prices for consumers, noted the New Jersey Star Ledger Online.