Southern gasoline pipeline to shut down due to Harvey

ATLANTA (AP) — Colonial Pipeline is shutting down a key line that supplies gasoline to the South due to refinery shutdowns and other impacts from Tropical Storm Harvey, meaning prices at the pump could rise even more in many states.

The Georgia-based company expects to shut off the line Thursday, the company said in a statement. Colonial had already closed down its other main line, which transports diesel and aviation fuels.

The pipeline, a crucial artery in the nation’s fuel supply network, runs from the Houston area to New York harbor and includes more than 5,500 miles of pipeline, most of it underground. It provides nearly 40 percent of the South’s gasoline.

In September 2016, a leak and gas spill in Alabama that closed the Colonial Pipeline led to days of empty gas station pumps and higher prices in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

Gasoline prices have been on the rise even before the pipeline shutdown. Harvey’s devastating strike on the Gulf Coast has prompted one of the summer’s largest one-week price surges, AAA reported.

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has risen from about $2.35 a week ago to $2.45 now. The price is surging in some states such as Georgia, where the average cost per gallon of regular gas has climbed from $2.22 a week ago to $2.39 now.

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