Locals watching for higher gas prices after pipeline explosion

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2016

LaGRANGE – The pipeline gas explosion that occurred in Helena, Ala., on Monday has left the Southeast region of the United States in a state of uncertainty, including LaGrange.

The pipeline explosion — which comes soon after the 5,500-mile Colonial pipeline leak that happened in September near Birmingham, Ala., that led to dry fuel pumps in several Southern states for 12 days — has resulted in gasoline shortages throughout the South, which has lead to gasoline and diesel prices surging, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline said in a brief statement on Monday that it has shut down its main gasoline and diesel pipelines as of press time.

The gas price increases have yet to be felt in LaGrange.

Various gas station representatives in LaGrange like Exxon, Marathon, and Shell said Tuesday there have been no increase in gas prices due to the gas explosion. Regular gas prices at those stations currently range between $2.10 to $2.40 per gallon.

Tod Tentler, Troup County manager, said the pipeline explosion has effected the county’s two gas lines already.

“Troup County had a shortage of gas (Tuesday) morning and were unable to get any jet fuel and diesel fuel because (the pipeline) was not operational,” said Tentler. “LaGrange gets its gas from a supplier in Atlanta, so we sent some trucks to Atlanta to deliver gas back here. Gas line No. 1 is now up and running and No. 2 will be running on Saturday.”

Overall, Tentler said he has not seen gas prices rise and does not expect the explosion to cause any long-term effects like higher gas prices or shortages. Tentler anticpates that the gas line in Alabama will be back up and fully running within a week.

By James Simpson II jsimpson@civitasmedia.com

Reach James Simpson II 706-884-7311, ext. 2155, or by email at jsimpson@civitasmedia.com