All eyes on Hurricane Rita - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

All eyes on Hurricane Rita

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Sept. 21, 2005

Albany - Hurricane Rita is heading toward Texas as a powerful category four storm. In its path are oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. That could spark another rush on gasoline stations.

Bill Dorough says, "If that hurricane does that damage out in Texas that we're afraid it might do, we could see three bucks or more again."

After Katrina tore through the Gulf of Mexico, oil rigs were shut down and employees evacuated for safety. With Hurricane Rita following a similar path, it could happen again. Dorough says, "We could be in for another rough patch."

While we're still struggling to pay $2.59 for a gallon of gasoline, we may be in the path of another increase. The Gulf Coast accounts for about a third of domestic crude oil production.

Texas, where it appears Rita's headed, accounts for 23% of refining capacity. If those refineries are damaged or destroyed the outlook won't be good.

When asked if the higher prices would stop Marco Mason from driving he said, "Yeah, basically. I might as well get a bicyle or electric scooter to go back and forth to work."

In addition to unleaded gasoline, diesel is expected to climb, too. Looking ahead to winter, it's likley we'll pay more for natural gas as well.

Suspect a gas station of gouging?  Report them to the Governor's office of Consumer Affairs. 

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