Gas prices are up across central Georgia due to a gasoline shortage affecting the Southeast, and according to AAA, Macon-area gas prices are up $0.17 since last week.
Tim Fletcher says he was concerned about finding gas when he got into his car Monday morning.
“Last week when I filled up and got the same amount. I would be completely full. Now I’ve got maybe 3/4 of a tank for the same price,” said Fletcher. He says he has seen the gas prices in Macon rising.
Mercer economics professor Allen Lynch says about 40 percent of central Georgia’s gasoline comes from the Alabama pipeline that ruptured.
“We are very dependent on this pipeline for gasoline,” said Lynch. He says he thinks the area will see increased prices for the next couple of days. Lynch says people are also contributing to the problem.
“We're seeing demand-side pressures as consumers are racing to beat higher gas prices and empty tanks,” said Lynch.
Faye Smith says she has noticed larger crowds at Macon gas stations, and several stations that are out of gas.
“The cheapest gas is at Kroger and there you got to wait. wasting gas to get gas,” said Smith. "Everybody is backed up if they're not out of gas, and then you have to wait for a very long time.”
Lynch says this shortage causes gas suppliers to come to the area, which in the long run can benefit consumers.
“What that does is increase the supply of gasoline to the region, which will put downward pressure on the prices,” said Lynch.
Both Smith and Fletcher say they are trying to cut back on driving, but they need their cars.
“To get back and forth to work and running errands,” said Fletcher.
Lynch says the shortage should be over in the next week or so, but if you have any questions he says to reach out to him. You can reach Lynch via email: email@example.com.
Mary Grace Shaw, 13WMAZ