Oil prices cause pain at pump

February 26, 2008 11:46:16 AM PST
Gas prices in the Triangle are nearing their all time high, set just after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The jump at the pump is baffling to some people because the increase comes as the economy in many areas is slowing.

The common perception is a slowing economy generally means less driving and less demand for gasoline. That would then lead to lower gas prices.

Not the case; as the average price of gasoline in the triangle is now just one cent below the all time high.

"Prices need to come down," Bus Driver, Linda Hartsfield said. "Prices keep going up. But you never hear why prices are going up."

Reasons have ranged from a major refinery fire, to the falling value of this U.S. dollar.

"When the U.S. dollar falls in relation to other foreign currencies, this is a sign to buy crude oil," NC Petroleum Councilor, Bill Weatherspoon said.

And oil traders have pushed crude oil to $100 a barrel.

Back at the pump, with prices this high, stations have noticed more people are trying to get away without paying.

"It runs the gamut," Gas Station Attendant, Jody Parrish. "I've actually had a Lexus drive off on me."

Hartsfield is simply buying less gas and cutting down on all unnecessary mileage.

Even the environmentally friendly vehicles cannot catch a break. Bio-diesel, which is 20% ethanol made from corn, even costs more -- $3.63 per gallon.


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