Now that Hurricane Gustav has made it through Cuba, and entered the Gulf of Mexico as a strong Category 3 storm - with sustained winds of 120 mph - it’s high time that you go out and fill up your car, truck or SUV.
Based on the current projected storm path, Gustav will very likely make landfall somewhere between Galveston, Texas and Gulfport, Mississippi. In terms of gas prices, this is important because this area of the Gulf Coast is home to many of the region’s oil refineries. These facilities account for nearly 40% of the United States’ refining capacity.
Keep in mind, when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the Gulf Coast region, it did so as a Category 3 storm. Should Gustav do as many forecasters are predicting and strengthen to a Category 4 before making landfall - meaning it would have sustained winds between 131 and 155 mph - chances are good that we could see even more damage to oil production facilities and refineries than what we did back in 2005. This certainly does not bode well for prices at the pump.