The culprit behind the price jump

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - East Texans who filled their gas tanks recently may be experiencing flashbacks. For the third day in a row gas prices are on the rise breaking the $2 mark Wednesday. With summer almost here, questions arise if '09 prices at the pump could mirror last years.

A year ago, the average cost of a gallon of gas was pushing $4. Now, the same gallon runs you just over two, nearly a buck and a half difference. But an overnight ten cent jump has some East Texans thinking here we go again.

"We're hopin' that doesn't happen but there aren't any guarantees," said Pat Robinson.

"The situation is a little better than what it was this time last year but every time I think it's going to get better it goes up," said Ernest Gower.

A graph that depicts the average cost per gallon for the past four years, shows gasoline prices would have to rise three cents per gallon every day for the next two and a half months to match the highs of last summer. It's a scenario Dan Ronan with Texas triple a believes is a slim one.

"There's just not the demand for it," said Ronan. "The demand is flat not just in the U.S., but across the world it's flat, so the demand side of it is not really connected to what's taking place right now."

The culprit behind the quick price jump, Ronan said, is a combination of things, including rising oil prices, gas stations anticipating memorial day travel, and the addition of summer blend gasoline. Created to combat city smog, it adds around five to ten cents a gallon. In all, the future rise or fall of gas prices is something East Texas are just resigned to accept.

"There's more important stuff to stress over than the price of gas," said Gower. "The price of gas is not going to change. We're not gonna change it. The oil companies are gonna make billions and there's nothing we can do about it."

If you're looking forward to summer travel, the prices may be in your favor. The Energy Information Administration projects the average price per gallon this summer to be around $2.23 a gallon, down $1.60 from last summer.

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