In a video interview posted on the front page of the Aug. 29, 2012, New York Times, Baker Institute Energy Forum director Amy Myers Jaffe discussed the impact of Hurricane Isaac on energy prices. "The critical issue will be how fast the refinery system can come back online after the storm," she told Business Day reporter Peter Lattman. "If electricity is out longer than expected or flooding is worse than expected and it takes some time for refineries to start up again, I think we can see some effect on gasoline prices."
U.S. gasoline inventories are much lower this year than in the past, Jaffe added, so taking refineries offline ahead of the storm could be a lingering factor at the pump. "Other countries require refineries to hold minimum inventories," she said. "We need to reconsider our minimum requirement policies in the United States given the fact that we know we're going to have a hurricane almost every year."