(NEW YORK) — The giant storm now moving over the Gulf of Mexico could have a direct impact on consumers’ wallets — pushing up the price of gas.
Energy companies are scrambling ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac, evacuating workers from many oil and natural gas platforms, and cutting oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.
As the storm tracks west, it becomes a bigger threat to the energy industry. The Gulf accounts for more than 20 percent of U.S. oil production and more than 40 percent of refining. If many plants are closed, it could push up gas prices — at least for a few weeks.
Global oil prices, meanwhile, are on the rise. West Texas crude has risen to more than $97 per barrel. The price was in the low 80s as recently as June.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis, CNN
Heather Long, CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN