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Small businesses feel bite of rising gas price

Posted December 13, 2010

With the average price of a gallon of gas flirting with $3, drivers all over the Triangle are feeling the pinch.

On Monday, AAA Carolinas listed the average price for a gallon of unleaded gas at $2.92 in the Triangle. That's one cent less than the statewide average, but more than Virginia to the north and South Carolina to the south. In New York, prices are highest – $3.22 per gallon.

James and Barbara Williford get hit twice in their glass repair business – once on the cost of raw materials and again in fueling the vehicles for their mobile service.

"Every time the gas goes up, they increase our price on the glass. And all because they have to have the petroleum to cook the glass, to make the glass," Barbara Williford said.

The North Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association expected prices to continue to rise to about $3.15 per gallon in the next two weeks.

"Competition keeps the prices down," said Gary Harris, a spokesman for the petroleum marketers. He said gas station owners and managers keep an eye on the station across the street and set prices competitively.

While Harris says he understands the frustration of drivers and business owners like the Willifords, it's all about supply and demand.

"What's pushing prices up is the price of crude right now," he said. With experts predicting the price of crude oil, at $88 per barrel on Monday, to hit more than $90 per barrel, someone has to eat the cost.

If the cost of filling up continues to go up, Barbara Williford said she'll have to eliminate on-site glass repair. "All our work would have to be brought into the shop," she said.

If the Willifords can hold on, Harris said, prices should be on the way down by mid-February.

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  • 6079 SMITH W Dec 14, 2010

    iworkandpaytaxes: No.....see, he INTERNS for his rich Uncle Rupert, and those of his "ILK"....who make stuff up all day for a quick buck. The punch line is homes is doin' it for FREE, cause $arah WINKED at him! ;)

  • 6079 SMITH W Dec 14, 2010

    Commodity traders and brokers are exactly the kind of weasels that Jesus drove out of the temple.....the only recorded instance of him losing his temper. Think about it. ;)

  • iworkandpaytaxes Dec 14, 2010

    Worland must be getting paid to say these outrageous flat out lies. Hopefully it's atleast taxed.

  • gnewsome1 Dec 14, 2010

    This is much more than economics 101. Greed is a major contributing factor. Always has been, always will be.

  • gnewsome1 Dec 14, 2010

    Everyone feels it, except for the oil companies. They always make record profits from the excessive prices they charge.

  • Juncyard Dec 14, 2010

    Exxon shatters profit records
    Oil giant makes corporate history by booking $11.7 billion in quarterly profit; earns $1,300 a second in 2007.

    Looks like they make plenty off of refining oil to me Worland...

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/31/news/companies/exxon_profits/index.htm

  • Juncyard Dec 14, 2010

    lol...doesn't look triple to me......As a matter of fact it's due to economic growth and the oil companies seeing an opening to grab some loose change out of our pockets....

    January 2, 2009 $46.34
    January 9, 2009 $40.83
    ***********************
    December 3, 2010 $89.19
    December 10, 2010 $87.79

  • Juncyard Dec 14, 2010

    Worland, "Oil has tripled in price since Obama won the election. The higher prices do have some links to Obama.".

    Worland this is the same tire lie you tell every week.

    Here is a link so people can see the truth and know what a liar you are....

    http://www.nyse.tv/crude-oil-price-history.htm
    January 4, 2008 $97.91
    December 10, 2010 $87.79

  • godnessgracious Dec 13, 2010

    Its short sighted to want to use up all the oil now. Please consider how will the human race make medical devices in the 22nd century? If we waste it all now moving our SUV's across town twice a day, everyday the dreams of our species die. If we focus our efforts we can get electric cars to work on a solar grid and live within that solar allowance. Either we finish this dream when there is no oil left or when there is some still out there. I hope that we save enough to get us to the next stage in our evolution.

  • Worland Dec 13, 2010

    Oil companies don't make much money from refining oil. In the best of times, they may make 3-9% profit. When oil prices get high, they typically lose money refining oil.

    Oil companies make their BIG profits from natural gas. Those billions of dollars in profit come from volume sales. 3 cents a gallon profit on gasoline, and 10 cents profit a therm on natural gas, really adds up when you sell 800 million units a day!

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