Local News

Gas prices on the rise again

Posted February 12, 2009 5:33 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Gasoline prices have jumped nearly a penny per gallon within the past two months and are nearing the $2 mark for a gallon of regular unleaded.

On Jan. 1, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in North Carolina was $1.58. According to AAA Carolinas, the price has jumped 33 cents to $1.91.

Industry experts say the cause is likely that supply is going down because refineries are cutting production, both domestically and internationally.

The reason for that, according to Charlene Edwards, with AAA Carolinas, is that fewer people are traveling.

One of those people is Ron Rader, who says he tries not to drive too far from home.

"When it was around $4, we cut back a lot," Rader said. "And when it got down to $1.50, we increased a little bit."

But now, with prices on the rise, he doesn't want to use as much fuel.

If Rader's story is indicative of the bigger picture, that's why, petroleum marketers say, refiners are cautiously cutting.

"The majors don't want a lot of product sitting around, because you don't know what prices are going to do," said Gary Harris with the North Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association. "At any time, the markets could change, prices could rise."

Refiners, he said, don't want excess inventory.

Experts also say it is really difficult to predict what will happen because gas prices keep going back and forth.