by: Bailey Strohl, Ozarks First
The record-breaking cold during the week of Feb. 14 is causing drivers to pay more at the gas station pump.
The national average price for a gallon of gas raised 14 cents over two weeks and some Springfield drivers say they are feeling the impact.
“A majority of my paycheck goes into my gas, just to get to point A and B,” said Darrius Rickman, a Springfield driver. “I’ve been draining my account like crazy just to fill up my gas tank.”
Josiah Daniels, another Springfield driver, says residents who work out of town are going to struggle to get to work.
“If you live here in town and you’re working out in Rogersville or you’re driving out to Marshfield or Seymour, It doesn’t matter; you’re not going to be able to have the not enough funds to get out there,” said Daniels. “So they’re going to have to boost up how much you make.”
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources said crude oil prices jumped from nearly $8 a barrel to $60 a barrel in the past month.
Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan said the extreme cold across the U.S. caused about 20% of the nation’s oil refiners’ capacity to be cut.
“We are talking about tens of millions of gallons of gasoline that weren’t being produced every day,” said De Haan. “That has a very quick impact. This is not unfortunately like a light switch. These refineries need to take days to get everything back up to temperature before production is back to normal levels.”
De Haan said prices should slow or go back down as refineries get back online. However, spring is expected to bring another long-term rise in gas prices as refineries start to transition to summer gasoline.
As spring and summer COVID-19 vaccinations become more available, De Haan said the gas industry expects a big spike in demand with the price per gallon getting closer to $3.