Gas prices in CT break average $3/gallon as COVID restrictions loosen; cyberattack on the Colonial Gas Pipeline could create long-term hike

Consumer

Conn. (WTNH) — Gas prices in Connecticut broke the $3/gallon mark this weekend as COVID-19 restrictions loosen and demand for gas rises.

According to AAA Northeast, the national average per gallon on Sunday was $2.94, but Saturday Connecticut’s average registered at $3.003. Connecticut’s average Sunday registered at $3.009. Sunday’s price is $1.09 higher than this time last year.

Andrew Heath, a motorist we spoke to Monday said, “I haven’t seen gas prices this high since high school when I first started driving.”

“Prices are on the rise because crude oil is rising and COVID restrictions are relaxed,” AAA Northeast told News 8 in a statement. “More people are out and about with looser restaurants and venue restrictions. Also, we are on the cusp of the summer drive season with Memorial Day several weeks away…We expect travel to be significantly higher this Memorial Day than 2020, but it’s still lower than last year. Demand is going up so that’s driving prices up at the pump.” 

RELATED: US pipeline company halts operations after cyberattack

That pain at the pump may be felt for months to come due to a cyberattack on the Colonial Gas Pipeline. Colonial is responsible for supplying nearly 45% of the fuel purchased on the east coast. New York and New Jersey are expected to be impacted the most.

Joe Sculley, the president of the Motor Transport Assoc. of Connecticut said, “I think there will be collateral damage in Connecticut, which could lead to higher prices, and potentially a shortage of fuel.”

Erik Dufresne, another driver we spoke to Monday, told us he drives about 50-60 miles per day. This time last year it cost him about $35 to fill up. But this year, he said, “It’s about fifty bucks to fill up the tank this time of year, and we usually do it about twice a week.”

Whenever Arron Sehl fills up his tank, he digs deeper for about $80, but he says he doesn’t mind because of the impact of COVID-19.

“I think like most people I’m looking to travel this summer,” he said. “A lot of people have been stuck inside for a long time. So, it’s gonna cost a little bit more this year, but I think it’s worth it to get away.”

Meanwhile, a fear is looming that increased gas prices could possibly lead to a gas shortage.

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