Gas prices continue to rise locally

Published 5:04 pm Monday, February 22, 2021

It hasn’t been too hard to notice the recent climb in gas prices locally and that trend just doesn’t stop at the county line as statewide gas prices have jumped on average 12 cents per gallon.

Here in Carter County depending on which station one favors to purchase gas from, those prices are now running anywhere from $2.32 per gallon to almost $2.50 per gallon.

Number wise on a fill-up, that represents anywhere from a $4 to $6 increase in the last two weeks. And that increase has more than likely just begun.

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This increase according to AAA is the most expensive increase since September of 2019 as the average gas price across the state currently is $2.41, a 21 cent jump since January and 18 cents higher than one year ago.

One of the reasons for the quick jump can be credited to the forced shutdown of the Gulf Coast and some Mid-West refineries due to last week’s winter weather causing gasoline stocks to tighten and gas prices to skyrocket.

Megan Cooper, a spokesperson with AAA-The Auto Club Group said, “This is similar to the effects that we see on refineries when hurricanes hit, any reports of extended downtime or significant supply impacts could cause another round of price increases at the pump. The good news is the nearly two dozen impacted refiners are expected to restart operations this week – if they haven’t already.”

A sampling of gas prices across the state shows the most expensive metro markets to be in Memphis ($2.49, Nashville $2.44, and Clarksville $2.44).

The least expensive metro markets can be found in Chattanooga ($2.29), Cleveland ($2.33), and Knoxville ($2.38).

These are the price per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

One year ago the price in Memphis was $2.26 and in Chattanooga $2.14.

Cooper shared some quick facts on Monday.

– 85% of Tennessee gas stations have prices below $2.50.
– The lowest 10% of pump prices are $2.21 for regular unleaded.
– The highest 10% of pump prices are $2.71 for regular unleaded.
– Tennessee remains the 9th least expensive market in the nation.

One thing that will be challenging as local residents march toward the Spring and Summer season is that many still are behind financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenge of having to budget extra for fuel just to go to work will put an additional bind on Carter Countians.