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Will Michigan motorists feel Hurricane Irene's wrath at the gas pumps?

(courtesy of the National Hurricane Center)
Hurricane Irene's path should take the storm up the east coast, forcing nearly a dozen oil refineries to shutdown, at least temporarily

Hurricane Irene should not have an impact on Michigan gas prices, according to an industry analyst.  The hurricane is expected to make landfall along the North Carolina coast tomorrow, before bearing down on the Jersey shore, New York and New England Sunday. 

Gregg Laskoski follows the gasoline industry for GasBuddy.com.  Laskoski says Hurricane Irene should force temporary shutdowns at nearly a dozen oil refineries in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.    But he says that shouldn’t force gas prices in Michigan any higher. 

“These refineries are not producing product that is shipped outside of that region. It’s a much different scenario than what would happen if this hurricane were to approach the Gulf of Mexico.”

Michigan’s average gasoline price is $3.78 a gallon.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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