Local News

Get Primed for an Increase in Prices at the Pump

Posted February 10, 2000

— Gas prices are as high now as they were during the Persian Gulf War, and more increases are on the way.

The oil companies say worldwide demand for gas is up, while supplies are down. As a result, prices at the pump are rising.

Both the North Carolina Petroleum Council and theNorth Carolina Petroleum Marketers Associationsay oil-producing nations have banded together to reduce supplies, driving prices to a nine-year high.

At a typical gas station off I-40, prices range from $1.34 to a $1.54 a gallon, but that is only the beginning. AAA Carolinas expects prices to jump 10 to 15 cents per gallon before they stabilize.

Even a small increase in the price of gas can add up. Filling up a 15-gallon tank once a week at $1.32 a gallon costs about $1,030 a year. A 15 cent increase costs an additional $120 a year.

The increase is driving some motorists crazy.

"It's like anything that we have to have that we cannot do without, that's the one item that seems to get hit the worst with increases," says driver Kat Waltman. "If it's a luxury item, you can get the price down on that because you have a choice."

Industry experts say prices should level off by summertime.

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