By: Caitlin Skolozdra
Now that Hurricane Harvey has made an impact on Houston, Irma on Florida, and Maria on Puerto Rico, the question is how do we respond? What’s to be done next? There’s a lot of damage to be repaired; that’s no question. They are large expenses and the rest of U.S is going to have to have a bit of patience until valuable resources, such as oil refineries, get back and running. To help with the expenses, President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Senate has recently, on September 6, approved the legislation to raise the debt limit as well as to keep the government funded until December, which surprised Democrats. In addition to this, they have also decided to raise $15 billion in disaster aid. The House recently passed the measure of adding an addition $7.9 in disaster aid, which is bringing the total to $15.3 billion of Senate funding for the federal emergency management agency. All of these actions will help the recovery in Texas.
Houston has a lot of oil refineries that are an important part of the U.S. economy, but after what Hurricane Harvey did, not a lot of oil is being produced. People should consider that if the refineries are closed, there will not be a ton of oil to go around, which means changes have to be made to save what oil we have. This affects the prices of gas and/or heating fuel as prices have already risen by about 5-15 cents a gallon.
The good news is that this problem is being settled. Recently, it was stated that 8 out of 20 oil refineries that were closed are now operating normally and 11 out of 12 that were affected are preparing to start up their business again which will allow for the prices to go back down.