Isaac may not be headed our way, but it's driving up gas prices in the region. That's because 40 percent of U.S. refining capacity comes from the Gulf area.
As AAA Mid-Atlantic's Windy VanCuren explained, it's not that the storm poses an imminent threat to reserves, but those who set oil prices use the circumstances as an indicator of what may happen to supply.
"They have to cut the power off to make sure no water gets mixed in with the oil and just take safety productions," VanCuren said. "About 80 percent of refiners down there have shut off production to protect themselves while the storm hits. And when that happens, although we have plenty of supply on hand, people get nervous and because of the nervousness of there being maybe an impact to supply prices start to go up."
There's no way of knowing how much prices will peak between now and then, VanCuren said. National forecasts suggest that gas prices will be the highest on record for an extended Labor Day weekend.
Copyright WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.