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Gas prices getting pumped up again

Posted January 7, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— After weeks of decline, gas prices have started trending back up in recent days across North Carolina.

Statewide, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded jumped from $1.63 on Tuesday to $1.67 on Wednesday, according to AAA Carolinas. In the Triangle, the average rose from $1.64 to $1.68, and it went from $1.60 to $1.65 in Fayetteville, AAA said.

"They're going up a little bit, but they're nowhere near what they were. So that's satisfactory," driver Gary Lipe said.

Gas price sign in Fayetteville Drivers wary of rising prices at pump

Many drivers said they were relieved gas finally fell below the $3- to $4-a-gallon prices they paid last summer and fall.

"I'm 69 years old, and I never thought I'd ever see gas come down under $2 again back in July," driver James Griffin said.

As they watch prices start to rise, though, some are getting jittery about a return to those $100 fill-ups.

"It tells me there's more to come, unfortunately," driver Howard Cheshire said.

AAA Carolinas spokeswoman Carol Gifford said gas prices are impacted by many factors, but she said the crisis in the Gaza Strip and OPEC's decision last month to cut production by 2.2 million barrels a day are the two primary factors behind the recent price increases.

Gifford said she expects prices to keep rising for a few weeks before fluctuating up and down. A weak economy should keep prices from reaching the highs they hit last summer, she said.

“People are clearly driving less,” Gifford said, noting federal statistics show Americans drove 100 billion fewer miles in the year ended in November than during the previous year.

James Griffin Jr., the owner of Eutaw Exxon in Fayetteville, said he sold more gas when it cost more. The price for a gallon of regular jumped from $1.58 to $1.68 by noon Wednesday.

"We're used to it now. Prices change back and forth, seems like, on a day-to-day basis," Griffin said.

Driver June Malone said she relished the relatively cheap gas she put into her tank in recent weeks, and she said higher prices will again force her to cut back on her driving.

"I've been able to just drive and go wherever I want to, but now, with the prices going back up, I will go back to doing what I was doing when the prices were really higher, and that is, I didn't do as much driving," Malone said.


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  • affirmativediversity Jan 8, 2009

    Well, if you do a little research, oil companies are hurting now too, and laying people off. I've been working on a project for one of the big 4, and they are considering cutting a lot of capitol projects next year because of the economy.


    Have you considered that the Oil Companies will have to cut back on capital projects during the next year and possibly after that because Obama and the Dem controlled Congress and Senate will attempt to financially dibilatate them beyond function?...all in the name of global warming!

  • jsanders Jan 8, 2009

    Folks would be a lot happier if they viewed gasoline as a commodity for which everyone, even the local retailers, are price takers subject to changes in the market, instead of looking for some ridiculous Grand Conspiracy. You should especially be happy that gas prices are less than half what they were just a few months ago, especially since the state and federal government both want to raise gas taxes to make up for people driving less from the (price-driven) drop in gasoline consumption:

  • Vietnam Vet Jan 8, 2009

    Do none of us remember the '70's. This same "strategy" happened then as well. Price went out of sight...there were "manufactured" shortages...people panicked because of rationing...price came down...then began inching up, and up,and up, and up...here we go again!!
    I actually don't hold it against the oil companies. I mean after all it is their product and they should be able to sell it for the price they choose. And that would work if we consumers had someplace else to take our business. We'd go someplace else and eventually the price would drop to entice us back. The oil company monopoly won't allow that to happen...

  • froggytroat Jan 8, 2009

    >>All that money the oil companies made last year

    Well, if you do a little research, oil companies are hurting now too, and laying people off. I've been working on a project for one of the big 4, and they are considering cutting a lot of capitol projects next year because of the economy.

  • gordonbabe Jan 8, 2009

    There's where the "stimulus" should come from.... All that money the oil companies made last year. That should easily make up for the deficit the country faces.

    Let them bail out the car companies! and the rest of the country for that matter!

  • unchick Jan 8, 2009

    Right now I am enjoying the one dollar and anything price! To be honest I never thought I would see it get back down this low!

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 8, 2009

    Now that Obama has gotten elected Obama and his rich oil buddies are driving up the prices again.

    Obama is doing no such thing. Wake up, this man will soon be your president whether you voted for him or not. Its sweet that he IS going to be OUR president in a few weeks. Bush will be out.

  • ifcdirector Jan 8, 2009

    Leave it to the do nothing democrat Attorney General to jump right in there and do nothing for the consumer in NC about the price gouging that is blatantly going on. I guess if it really affected the people in this state who were part of liberal democrat ruling elite something would get done straight away. The rest of you comrades just keep on voting for the people that are taking you down the drain toward meager living standards and socialism at the state and federal level. See you in the bread lines comrade voters and enjoy the price gouging.


    The only one getting pumped is the consumer!! How can the same gas that is already in the pump at $1.49 go to $1.75 in 5 days?? Is it magic gas, no it's price gouging!!! Hey WRAL do you think you could do a REAL news story to expose it!! AND STOP ASKING SOME OIL COMPANY STOOGE TO EXPLAIN IT!!!

  • duster 340 Jan 8, 2009

    Oil is back down today to $40 let see what Gas prices do !