TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Political struggles halfway around the world could soon be taking a bite out of your paycheck.
For the first time since 2008, a barrel of oil has broken the volatile $100 mark.
Government protests in North Africa now threaten to push prices up even more, causing East Texans to full up while they can afford to. It's a familiar foe for East Texas drivers.
Up more than 50¢ from a year ago, experts say this week's average cost of $3.19/gallon won't be there much longer.
Bad news for Penny McGee and her beloved Cadillac, "I'm not going to be able to afford it, that's half a paycheck… those gas prices going up and up and up."
And up some more experts say, if speculators get their way in the coming weeks from the situation in the Middle East.
Protests in Libya now push the country to it's breaking point, starting worldwide ripples.
The increases tension has increased OPEC's price per barrel past $100.
Libya alone is not a major player in the oil market, but when fear of it's troubles reach Saudi Arabia, where 9% of the World's supply sits, gas prices jump in a game that some say is unnecessary.
"On one side you've got the trouble in the Middle East on the home front--nothing being done to use the resources we have," said Gohmert.
Congressman Louie Gohmert cites the lack of offshore drilling in the gulf and Alaska's untapped oil fields as two of the biggest reasons we'll be paying more.
"Any of these kinds of things to help us other than to say we're going to put windmills on the tops of the cars, will drive down the speculation and help the people that get hurt the most," says Gohmert.
In East Texas, that's Penny McGee, who may soon be trading her leather seats for something less comfortable.
"I don't know how we're going to make it, everything going up—but the wages," said McGee. "Yeah, I'll ride a bicycle, I sure will, if push comes to shove, I just work right down the street."
Oil trade experts say the US does have its fair share or reserves, totaling more than 700 million barrels of crude in a strategic reserve.
But, politicians say high prices alone, isn't enough to convince government officials to draw from it.