BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The price of gasoline in the metro area is on the rise. Oil and gas experts say it is mostly because an unknown number of refineries took a huge hit during Hurricane Harvey, but they also say consumers could be contributing to the hike.
As soon as Harvey set its sights on the Texas Gulf Coast, it was a safe bet by most that their wallets were going to take a hit. Consumers, like Moses Holiday, have come to expect it.
"Whenever you have a tragedy like that, everything seems to go up," said Moses.
Texas and Louisiana are usually among the first states to experience gas hikes.
Prices in Baton Rouge were just under the $2 mark earlier this week. They have now climbed as high as $2.35 at some gas stations. It's why local, Chris Brocato, says he's keeping his tank topped off and he's got a trunk full of gas cans to make sure he does not run out.
"I know the prices are going to go up as a result of it, I'm more concerned about Irma out there, so I got four gas cans in the back. I'm getting ready to load up right now because I know the prices are going to go up way more," said Brocato.
Conservation can be a good thing, but when it comes to the supply and demand of gasoline, Louisiana Oil & Gas Association President Don Griggs says it could do more harm than good.
"Everybody goes to the filling station to fill up their cars and their extra five gallon tanks they may have at their homes for gasoline, but it also puts a real strain on your supply," said Griggs.
He says because Louisiana and Texas produce over half of all the refining capacity for gasoline in the country, the longer those refineries are shut-in or flooded, the higher the prices will go. Only time will tell.
"As we have refineries producing all of the gasoline they need to refine, then you will see prices level off," said Griggs.
If you think you see evidence of price gouging, call the Louisiana Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889, or file a complaint at www.agjefflandry.com.