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Expand chart

Data: S&P Global Platts; Map: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Colonial Pipeline is shutting down its major arteries that bring large amounts of gasoline and other refined products to markets thousands of miles into the Northeast and states in between.

  • "Once Colonial is able to ensure that its facilities are safe to operate and refiners in Lake Charles and points east have the ability to move product to Colonial, our system will resume operations," the company said, via CNN.
  • More context: "Colonial was already running at reduced rates due to Harvey-related disruptions at its origin point in Texas, but the closure of the entire system threatens to escalate concerns about fuel supplies in the world's largest oil consumer," the Financial Times reports.

Why it matters: It's the largest refined petroleum network in the country. The announcement from the supplier of 100 million gallons daily last night will further restrict fuel supplies and networks battered by the massive storm's flooding.

Sums it up: "Record flooding in Texas is straining superhighway of energy trade," is the subhead of this in-depth Wall Street Journal look at how the storm has snarled the vast network of refineries, ports, pipelines, trucking routes, and other energy infrastructure along the Gulf Coast.

Price surge: AAA reported early Thursday that the average nationwide price of gasoline is now $2.45 per gallon, which is nearly a nickel above yesterday's price and 10 cents higher than it was a week ago.

State of refineries: S&P Global Platts, in its latest update Wednesday evening, said roughly 3 million barrels of refining capacity remains offline in Texas. Combined with other refineries running at reduced levels, over a fifth of the U.S. refining has been affected.

  • However, some refiners including Valero and Marathon are beginning to resume operations in some facilities.

Important point: Paul Sankey, a top analyst at Wolfe Research, said in a note that the direct harm to various kinds of energy infrastructure and companies in the Houston region is only part of the story.

  • "Expressions of unharmed infrastructure may prove to be meaningless — there is no way to get people to run much of this asset base, regardless of its condition," Sankey wrote.

Warning: Via Reuters, "Concerns over fuel shortages ahead of the U.S. Labor Day weekend were mounting, said analysts at JBC Energy."

Go deeper

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.