Amid pipeline shutdown, Mississippi drivers see high gas prices

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Amid the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, some drivers have seen a surge in gas prices. While people rush to fill up their tanks, President Joe Biden and Mississippi leaders have urged drivers not to hoard gasoline.

In Jackson, there was no gas at the Raceway on Highway 18 Wednesday morning. Employees expect a gas tank to arrive by the end of the day.

Experts said the longer the pipeline is shutdown, the larger the impact could be on the East Coast. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday that it’s allowing Mississippi and other states, like Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana, to use interstate highways to transport overweight loads of gasoline and other fuels.

Attendants at the Raceway in Jackson said they’ve had people call from Louisiana asking for gasoline. Drivers are being urged not to panic buy fuel.

On Wednesday, Mississippi’s average price of gas was $2.68. Last year, the number was lower due to fewer travelers on the road amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The national average is around $3.00, according to AAA.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch warned drivers about possible price gouging during the shutdown of the pipeline.

“Not all price increases are price gouging, but we will be monitoring this situation closely. If you see an excessive increase in prices, please call my consumer protection division at 601-359-4230 or email us at consumer@ago.ms.gov and let us know,” she said.

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