ALBANY, N.Y.---While many drivers are bracing for an increase at the pump, former gas station owner Mac Brownson says while gas prices will go up, in reality, they shouldn't go up for about three months. Brownson calls the storm just an excuse to make money.
Brownson says if Hurricane Issac presents a big enough threat, the refineries will be shut down, but the amount of oil coming out of them should not affect the price that much.
"For the oil companies this is an opportunity, not a reality," he says. "I hate to use the pun, but this is a perfect storm for the oil companies. They're not drilling for gasoline, they're drilling for oil, so the amount of time it takes to drill that oil, get it to refinery and get it to the market and on the street is three or four months, so why would that increase the price?"
But Brownson predicts prices will go up and that they'll go up this week.
While refineries could escape a direct hit from Issac, owners will often shut them down before a storm hits.
Right now, 1 million barrels per day are expected to cease operation.
"The market should also reflect downturns," says Brownson. "When there is no storm or no blackout or no natural event to increase the price on the street, why doesn't it go down? This is an opportunity for the oil companies, plain and simple."
There is speculation that the Obama administration will release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help ease what some fear will be higher prices at the pump.