In Katrina’s wake, diesel prices leap 30 cents

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Amid shortages caused by Hurricane Katrina, the national average retail price of a gallon of diesel increased 30 cents for the week ending Sept. 5, to set a new record of $2.898. That’s $1.02 more than in the same week of 2004.

One major pipeline that lost power when Katrina roared ashore went back online on Labor Day, raising hopes that the shortages caused by the storm would be short-lived.

The average diesel price increased in all regions tracked by the U.S. Department of Energy. The hard-hit Gulf Coast actually had the lowest average diesel price at $2.833. The highest was on the West Coast at $3.149, the only regional average that topped $3 – though the East Coast average was $2.900 and the Rocky Mountain average $2.976.

Colonial Pipeline, based in Alpharetta, Ga., reported late Monday, Sept. 5 that it had restored power and was back to normal operation across its 5,500-mile network extending from Houston to New York City. Colonial normally pumps 100 million gallons of fuel a day, including diesel.

For state-by-state diesel prices, updated daily, visit