Lehigh Valley gas prices shoot past $3 following pipeline hack

Written by on May 13, 2021

Lehigh Valley gas prices shoot past $3 following pipeline hack

By Megan Frank

May 13, 2021

A QuickTrip convenience store has bags on their pumps as the station has no gas, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Kennesaw, Ga. Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, halted operations last week after revealing a cyberattack that it said had affected some of its systems. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Pennsylvania is feeling the ripple effects of last week’s Colonial Pipeline cyberattack. In the Lehigh Valley, fuel prices have jumped an average of 10 cents a gallon since last week.

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According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the wallet-busting trend is expected to continue. 

“In our area, in the Lehigh Valley market, we’re seeing the average today at $3.08 a gallon, which is up about 10 cents from over a week ago and 18 cents higher than a month ago and about $1.10 higher than a year ago,” says Theresa Podguski, regional spokeswoman for AAA.

The Colonial Pipeline computer hack halted production from Texas to New Jersey. It also prompted panic buying, which has led to price hikes. 

Podguski says there’s another reason costs are up: the COVID-19 economic recovery.

“We have been seeing some increased demand due to people getting vaccinated. They are starting to get out and about more. In addition to that, the crude oil prices, because of increased demand, have gone up,” Podguski says.

Pipeline production should return to normal in a few days, she says, and prices are expected to stabilize.

But drivers may not catch much of a break. AAA is forecasting another price hike for Memorial Day weekend.

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