Gas prices get higher and higher

April 12th, 2011 by Staff

TAMPA – This is the kind of record people don’t want to see broken.

Gas prices are inching closer and closer to all-time record highs, with the national average currently at $3.77 — up 19 cents from three weeks ago and 91 cents from this time last year — and soaring in Tampa as well.

The all-time high was set in July 2008 when the national average hit $4.11 per gallon, and officials are split on whether prices will reach that mark again, as political unrest continues in the Middle East.

AAA spokesperson Angie LaPlant says at this rate, will we likely see prices hit $4 a gallon.

The recent spike started in February, when the rebellion in Libya put a stop to the country’s daily exports. Unrest in North Africa and Middle East coupled with the falling dollar have rattled energy markets and increased world-wide demand.

It all leads to more pain at the pump, and there’s nothing to indicate the rise in prices will slow down.

Here in the Bay Area, gas prices jumped 11 cents in the last week and the trend is likely to continue—which is bad news for those with long commutes.

Roy Stevens has to drive 40 miles a day to go to work, but is cutting corners where he can.
“Driving less, period,” he said. “Trying to get more things, get more things done in less trips and use less gas, ” said Stevens.

“I think it’s horrible,” Tampa’s Robert Gillespie said. “I think it’s horrendous actually. There are people out there who can barely afford gas before it went up, and now it’s just getting worse and worse. So how are we supposed to deal with this?”

That’s a question many are asking.

LaPlant, with AAA, says there are ways to keep more gas in your tank, for a little longer.

“Check your tires, make sure they are properly inflated, drive the speed limit, don’t have quick stops and quick starts,” she advised. “Also, check your trunk for extra weight you don’t need, lighten the load, and you should have better fuel economy.”

“I’m pretty lucky because my car gets pretty good gas mileage, but if I didn’t have this car, I’d be struggling just because of gas prices,” Chelsea Fernandez said.

Others aren’t so lucky.

“It really puts a damper on any plans that you might have,” Gillespie said. “If your family wants to travel, how are you supposed to do that? So you really have to work with what you’ve got and maybe make plans in town as opposed to going out and doing what you want to do.”

Eddie Mallon drove from Sarasota to Tampa for a family birthday, but for the most part, he avoids driving his car. Often you’ll find him saddled on two wheels. He says he has no choice — skyrocketing gas prices have driven him to it.

“I use it for work, errands, anyway I could save on gas,” Mallon said.

One Response

  1. Mr Chuck

    The United States is “the Saudi Arabia of natural gas” and has no business buying pricey oil from OPEC producing-nations. Supply issues stemming from Middle East unrest coupled with refinery closures in the United States have lifted gasoline prices to a nationwide average of more than $3.70 a gallon, with most experts predicting that figure will easily top $4 a gallon. The United States shouldn’t be in this situation. The country has ample energy reserves at home, although excessive regulations under the GOP are preventing companies from producing oil and natural gas. I think it’s devastating and much more OPEC than anybody else or anything else. They’re sitting around the table and setting the price of oil and laughing at us because we have no leadership in the US House. Blame deregulation for preventing energy companies from tapping the country’s oil and natural gas reserves. How about Congress starts repealing the commodities modernization act ?. For better or worse the Magic 8 Ball has made more decisions for more people than the president and congress combined. Let’s also ban a crooked culture hidden under the heavy dirty dust of politics corruption and crony capitalism the Koch Brother’s and their Ethanol 15 and the 54 ethanol manufacturers, plus K Street and Wall Street Corporate sneakiness and their outright-scams and con-games, more corruption and crony capitalism in Congress along with insider trading, crooked offshore tax safe havens in secret bank accounts that they invested in up-market homes and hotels, tons of loopholes that allow qualifying Institutions to still serve as conduits for Tax Evasion, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae that caused the mortgage meltdown and toss the crooks in prison, this commodities modernization act helped create the ENRON debacle and is still having repercussions on the US and World economies with ill conceived market trades. Ex-Sen. Phil Gramm is credited with the ENRON language of the bill, but what about the other proposals that negated ‘bucket shop’ laws in the states? Who stood to gain then, as now? And did these self same greedy capitalists (lobbyists and lawmakers) conspire to ‘help’ Congress again with the $700 billion bailout of financial institutions in 2008? I think whoever drafted this proposal should be sent to prison and stripped of any and all wealth they amassed. This statute is now being high-lighted as one of the main causes of the financial crisis we are sliding into. Another Wall Street oil price swing?. IT’S TIME we all put the breaks on it. With our Congressman and Senator and tell them to do this. Gas prices most places are pushing $4 a gallon again. And news reports say it could be $5 or more by summertime. That’s outrageous and unjustified. We’ve also got to stop a new brand of oil trader who has emerged in the last decade, a middle man of sorts, who’s also driving up the price we pay at the pump. Many experts agree we should not allow these traders to bid up the price of oil and flip futures contracts like condos. Yet in the last ten years the share of the oil market controlled by investors and speculators has more than doubled. By bidding up oil futures, speculators also increase costs for our airlines, industrial energy users and other businesses. And these higher costs are passed on to consumers like you and me. The GOP Congress deregulated oil traders in December 2000. And it hasn’t tackled a comprehensive alternative energy policy since Nixon and Carter first talked about one in the 1970s. I think Congress should pass legislation that aims to drastically limit the ability of speculators to artificially drive up energy prices.

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