Shutdown of Alabama pipeline could raise Tennessee gas prices, cause shortages

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Colonial Pipeline that supplies much of the gas to East Tennessee has been partially closed since September 9 after a leak was discovered in Alabama.

Colonial Pipeline Company said in a release that they were initially planning on having the pipeline open by the weekend, but bad weather has delayed the fix. AAA of Knoxville said the tighter tighter supply may drive up the price of crude and gasoline in Tennessee. Other states that could be directly impacted by the tighter supply and slightly higher prices include Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

“While there is plenty of gasoline and crude supply, the pipeline is the most efficient way to deliver the product to Tennessee,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, AAA—The Auto Club Group. “I anticipate tanker trucks from Memphis and Kentucky will bring in gasoline supplies to Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville over the next several days.”

Colonial Pipeline says Line 1 is expected to be repaired and restarted sometime next week. On Wednesday, the EPA sent a letter to Governor Bill Haslam and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal saying the agency was relaxing environmental standards in specific Georgia and Tennessee counties through 11:59 p.m. on September 15, in order to maintain the gas supply to those states.

“I do not anticipate areas where motorists won’t be able to find gasoline, but you could see some locations in Tennessee where there are occasional outages of regular gas,” said Kloza. “This will not persist, and indeed the price increases you’ll see do not represent a trend.”

Currently Tennessee’s gasoline average is $2.01, an increase of one cent from Thursday.

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