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Gas prices jump, Hurricane Laura blamed

The powerful storm forced the closure of Gulf Coast refineries, and demand is trending higher with Labor Day just around the corner.
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CHICAGO — While still lower than last year, gas prices jumped nearly 10 cents in the past week due to the storm-related closure of Gulf Coast refineries, and anticipated demand from the Labor Day holiday.

GasBuddy's daily survey of 1,106 gas stations indicates that the cost for a gallon of unleaded rose 9.2 cents in the last week, reaching an average of $2.12. While up a bit, that price is still 38.9 cents cheaper than at the same time last year.

According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Twin Cities is priced at $1.84 per gallon today while the most expensive is $2.59 per gallon, a difference of 75 cents. The lowest price in the state today is $1.87 per gallon, while the highest is $2.29, a difference of 42 cents per gallon.

"Gas prices have reached their highest post-coronavirus level as Hurricane Laura caused Gulf Coast refineries to shut, limiting production as gasoline demand edged higher," said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "The rebound in demand comes with just a week left in the summer driving season and isn't expected to continue once the driving season wraps up, but while some may see prices tick higher over the next few days, more decreases are coming to gas prices once Labor Day is over as demand will likely move lower."

De Haan says the switch back to cheaper winter gasoline will also happen in a few weeks, giving more potential for prices to begin dropping.

Nationwide, gasoline has risen 3.5 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.22 today. That's up 4 cents per gallon from a month ago, but 34.4 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

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