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Rising gas prices squeezing pocketbooks

Posted April 28, 2011

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— Gas prices are up almost $1 a gallon from a year ago, and drivers say the increase is beginning to pinch their other spending.

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gas is $3.77 in the Triangle and $3.78 in Fayetteville. Those prices have jumped more than 20 cents since March.

"It used to take me $25 to fill my car up. Now, it takes me twice that," driver T.J. Briggs said Thursday.

"It is what it is. I have to get to work, so I don't even look at the gas prices," driver Karla Sessoms said. "I just fill it up when it gets empty and keep on going."

Mike Walden, an economist with North Carolina State University, estimated that consumers will spend an extra $83 a month for every $1-a-gallon increase in gas prices. The amount includes higher prices paid for groceries and other items that are shipped and have the price of gas factored in to their overall cost.

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan urged President Barack Obama's administration to work quickly to get to the bottom of rising gas prices. Obama recently appointed the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group to determine what factors are driving up prices at the pump.

"If gas prices go up, we will see an economic impact to our tourism industry," Hagan said during a stop in Raleigh.

gas prices Rising gas prices squeezing pocketbooks

She said she wants the working group to bring its recommendations to Congress by July 4, and she also wants the group to assess the impact of higher gas prices on seniors living on fixed incomes, military families and veterans.

Gas prices typically increase during the summer, but AAA Carolina sales manager Jodi Woolard said it's unclear whether the prices will level off for a time before heading up again.

"We're hoping we've seen it level off now since it hasn't gone up any more in the last week, but again, it's hard to predict that," Woolard said.

Lorraine King, a native of Ireland, said a visit to her homeland would change the perspective of American drivers. There, gas is $9 to $10 a gallon, she said.

"People just need to rely on their cars less. Drive less," King said.

83 Comments

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  • flashsparks Apr 29, 2011

    "Obama recently appointed the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group to determine what factors are driving up prices at the pump."

    The REAL FRAUD here is that the US hasn't built a new refinery in a quarter of a century. The real fraud is that we are NOT tapping enough of our domestic fossil fuel resources. I don't know if this is the fault of oil companies, federal government, or evironmental extremists, or all three! But unless you are willing to completely give up central heating and air, modern transporation, modern medicines, anything made of plastics including the beloved IPad and IPhone, you best start supporting domestic drilling. Otherwise say hello to the 19th Century.

  • 6079 SMITH W Apr 29, 2011

    "We like Freedom and Choices"....(TM) by $arah, Queen of Screech. ;)

  • davidk_at_unc Apr 29, 2011

    "Some of you people need smaller vehicles... and you need to slow down. "

    "Sorry, but this is America. We like Freedom and Choices.
    Alex25"

    You're exactly right Alex. We DO like freedom and choices, and you are completely free to choose. You either choose to drive a more efficient car at slower speeds or you choose to pay out the you-know-what for gas! Your choice!

  • dmpaltman2 Apr 29, 2011

    Over the past 5 years, Exxon made $40 billion in profit, and paid $59 billion in taxes. Private companies are allowed to make a profit. Want Exxon to make less, park and walk. When the dollar is weak, fuel will be higher along with wheat,corn and gold and silver. If the feds would quit printing money, commodities will start to drop in price.

  • what the........ Apr 29, 2011

    Give it up. There is no hope or future of happiness for this life in the good ole USA!!! There is nothing but bleakness, despair, hopelessness, helplessness, and crime will thrive. I see nothing to look forward to from here on out.

  • finwearer Apr 29, 2011

    and Exxon says they don't make much money on Gasoline... 11 Billion a quarter... Their PR department and their ties to the US Government are unbelievable..
    makeitright
    April 28, 2011 6:52 p.m.

    THIS IS A RE-POST. WOULD ANYONE CARE TO DISPUTE IT?.... LET'S HEAR FROM YOU!

  • hfweather Apr 29, 2011

    Beginning to pinch spending?!?!?!?!? When it costs 80-100 to fill up... you can bet there will be no additional spending... period.
    HeadPro
    GOLO member since February 25, 2011
    April 28, 2011 6:31 p.m

    IM SURE MANY OF YOU WILL NOT CUT BACK ON THE INTERNET,CABLE,CIGARETTES,ALCOHOL,LOTTERY TICKETS,ETC.

  • hfweather Apr 29, 2011

    MANY OF US HAVE NOT HAD A COST OF LIVING RAISE IN 3 TO 4 YEARS AND ARE EXPECTED TO NOT CUT EXPENSES - WE ARE LUCKY TO JUST HAVE $$ TO PURCHASE A FEW GROCERIES. WE DRIVE TO WORK AND BACK HOME CAN'T AFFORD ANY OTHER TRAVELS THESE DAYSjrfergerson
    April 28, 2011 6:11 p.m.
    Report abuse

    TELL THAT TO ALL THE PEOPLE BUYING LOTTERY TICKETS,SPEAK FOR YOURSELF NOT EVERYONE IS HURTING LIKE YOU THINK THEY ARE.THINK IM WRONG?VISIT OUTBACK OR ANY OTHER RESTAURANT,THEY ARE ALWAYS PACKED,GL IN YOUR OWN LITTLE WORLD.

  • hfweather Apr 29, 2011

    "Some of you people need smaller vehicles... and you need to slow down. It still costs me $40 to fill up... on premium. It's called a Corolla. However it's not quite as cool as an SUV. Oh, and I do have 2 kids that ride in it, so it is possible."

    Sorry, but this is America. We like Freedom and Choices.
    Alex25
    GOLO member since November 2, 2010
    April 29, 2011 10:06 a.m.
    Report abuse

    SORRY THEN QUIT WHINNING AND COMPLAINIG,PREPARE FOR TOMORROW,STILL GOING TO HAWAII ON MY FAMILY VACATION....WISH YOU WERE HERE......NOT!!!!

  • Alert5 Apr 29, 2011

    U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan urged President Barack Obama's administration to work quickly to get to the bottom of rising gas prices. Obama recently appointed the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group to determine what factors are driving up prices at the pump.

    Rep Hagan is very naive to the point where if she doesn't understand that we need to free up our drilling resources to have any chance of the price of gas going down.

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