Gas prices 2

Filling up the gas tank is costing local drivers more than it has since 2015.

The average price for a gallon of gas in western Pennsylvania is up six cents this week while New Castle area drivers are paying about 15 cents more, according to AAA East Central's Gas Price Report.

The average cost for a gallon in the region is $3.09, up from last week's $3.03. Last week at this time, the region average was $2.10. New Castle's average is $3.06, up from last week's $2.91. 

On the week, the national gas price average jumped six cents to $2.96. If the trend continues, an increase of three more cents would make the national average the most expensive since November 2014 — the last time the average prices was at $2.99 and higher.  

AAA forecasts gas prices to climb this week in reaction to the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline cybersecurity attack, which delivers approximately 45 percent of all fuel to the East Coast. The pipeline runs from Texas to New York Harbor. At this time, some lateral lines have reopened, but there is no word of when the mainline, including the gasoline line, will be operational.

This shutdown will have implications on both gasoline supply and prices, but the impact will vary regionally. Areas including Mississippi, Tennessee and the east coast from Georgia into Delaware are most likely to experience limited fuel availability and price increases, as early as this week. These states may see prices increase three to seven cents this week.

The longer the pipeline is offline, the larger the impact on the east coast. However, foreign gasoline imports and other pipelines can supplement Northeastern supply. Other areas of the country will see little impact.

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