Demand for gasoline plunged as a deep freeze left millions without power across the U.S., but prices at the pump still rose following disruptions at more than 20 refineries. Retail gasoline demand dropped 14% on Monday from a week earlier, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for researcher GasBuddy. At the same time, prices for the motor fuel reached $2.539 a gallon on Tuesday, the highest since January 2020, according to data from auto club AAA.
The storm further reduced demand that was already at its lowest level in more than two decades for this time of year as the pandemic continues to keep Americans working and shopping from home. But it could take weeks for refineries to come back online after the freeze, while drivers will likely take to the road again in the coming days as the weather improves and lockdown measures are eased. This means prices at the pump may well continue to rise.