A gas line explosion in Alabama on Monday could soon have a major impact on gasoline prices in South Carolina, according to AAA Carolinas.
The explosion, which killed one person and injured five others, forced the shutdown of two delivery lines to the Southeast that carry major supplies of gasoline to millions of consumers across the region. It is the second major Colonial Pipeline mishap to occur at the Georgia-based company in the past two months.
In September, a leak to a line in the same county sent gas prices haywire in South Carolina and elsewhere, touching off shortages that closed pumps and created public panic as up to 336,000 gallons spilled.
Already on Tuesday, just a day after the explosion, gas prices in the Upstate spiked by up to 16 cents a gallon in some locations, according to The Greenville News. In Columbia, gas prices held steady throughout the day Tuesday, ranging from a low of $1.79 a gallon to a high of $2.26 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.
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That could change quickly.
“If September’s shutdown was any indicator of what we should expect, prices are definitely going to spike at the pump,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokeswoman. “We saw price spikes of 20 to 30 cents in some areas and there were a ton of stations with bagged (pumps) due to shortages.”
The September leak resulted in a 12-day shutdown in which several states in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, including the Carolinas, experienced shortages at gas stations. Gov. Nikki Haley declared emergencies in the state during the leak, issuing executive orders that suspended regulations to raise the size and weight of trucks delivering fuel into the state and extending the number of hours delivery drivers could be on the roads.
South Carolina leaders are tracking developments in the latest Colonial Pipeline disruption, Haley’s office said Monday, while again reminding motorists not to panic at the pumps.
Roddie Burris: 803-771-8398