Will Pipeline Shutdown Cause Gas Prices to Increase in Minnesota?
The shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline has impacted gas supplies and prices in parts of the East Coast, but will it cause prices to increase here in Minnesota?
Minnesota gas prices in 2021 were already high
Gas prices here in Minnesota in 2021 are already WAAAAY higher than they were a year ago. One not-so-horrible thing about the pandemic last year was that when everything shut down-- both here in Minnesota and across the globe-- demand for crude oil fell. And so did gas prices here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, hitting a low for 2020 in mid-April of around $1.65 a gallon.
Fast-forward to a year later and prices are just a bit higher. In fact, back in March, prices had headed high enough that they had already eclipsed the highest price point since March of 2019. But then, as the spring progressed, gas prices seemed to stall around the $2.74 or $2.79 a gallon mark throughout southeast Minnesota, and the thought was that maybe they'd topped out for the year.
And they could be headed ever higher
Well, you can toss that thought out the window, as prices have crept up in Minnesota, hovering near the $2.89 mark, according to GasBuddy. But will that shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which connects the Gulf Coast to the Northeast, cause prices to go up here in the North Star State too?
This CNBC Business story notes the pipeline has been shut down since last Friday, thanks to after the company was the victim of an online ransomware cyberattack. And that has caused prices to spike and even gas shortages to be reported across parts of the southeast.
Will the pipeline shutdown increase prices in Minnesota?
And, according to GasBuddy analysis in the CNBC story, the shutdown could affect prices here in our neck of the woods. While the story said we won't feel the pinch like other parts of the country are, we could definitely see prices increase by "a few cents per gallon, possibly growing more significant if the pipeline remains shut down for more than 2-3 more days," the noted, saying "It's very difficult to pin the exact amount prices may rise."
The story noted that several smaller lines and fuel terminals owned by Colonial Pipeline are starting to come back online, with the main lines expected to be operational again in the next few days. Will that cause prices to top $3 a gallon here in Minnesota? I hope not, but only time will tell!
Even if they stay just under $3 a gallon, that's still a lot more than we were paying back when we all first started driving. Do you remember what we paid per gallon back then? Keep scrolling to check out the cost of gas from the year you got your driver's license!