Gas prices could soon rise after pipeline blast

- Experts say motorists could soon begin seeing higher costs at gas pumps in some Southern states after a pipeline explosion in Alabama that supplies gasoline to millions of people. This is the second time in less than two months.

Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline said it shut down both of its main lines after Monday's blast, which killed a worker and injured several others. Both lines, which supply gasoline to millions of people across the South, remained closed Tuesday morning.

AAA spokeswoman Tamra Johnson says that if both lines remain shut down, drivers could begin to see higher prices at the pumps within about a week.

Johnson noted that Colonial was able to open its second main line soon after last month's leak was detected, and began moving products through it. This situation could be different, if both lines remain closed for days.

North Carolina's law against price gouging remains in effect, according to the Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Cooper’s office is continuing to investigate multiple allegations of price gouging.

“Consumers are our eyes and ears on the ground and we use their complaints to investigate possible price gouging,” Cooper said. “If you spot excessive prices during this time of crisis please let us know.”

A previous shutdown of the same gas pipeline in September triggered North Carolina’s law against price gouging.

North Carolina’s anti-price gouging law was triggered again in October by Hurricane Matthew and remains in effect statewide.

The Attorney General’s Office is currently investigating businesses for possible price gouging related to Hurricane Matthew as well as for alleged gas price gouging due to problems with the gas pipeline in September.

You can report price gouging in the following ways:

Consumer Protection Division
Attorney General's Office
Mail Service Center 9001 
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001


The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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