The Associated Press reports that the average U.S. retail price of gasoline rose 13 cents over the past two weeks to $3.42 per gallon, and within a few days it will likely set a record for this time of year.
The culprits identified by The Associated Press are rising crude oil prices, low supplies of gasoline and slowing output at refineries that are undergoing maintenance.
A short drive around Rome on Thursday at about 3 p.m. found prices ranging from $3.42 at the Kangaroo on Shorter Avenue to $3.51 at the Smart Mart on East Second Avenue.
The Kangaroo at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and North Broad Street matched its Shorter Avenue location’s price while Andrew Wallace, a truck driver from Rome, was in line to buy $25 worth of gas for his pickup.
By the time he got to the pump, the sign outside had been changed and the price had crept up a cent to $3.43.
The $25 Wallace spent on gas put barely more than seven gallons into his tank. “I used to burn through that much just with the lawn mower,” he said.
Wallace said price increases, be it 1 cent while standing in line or a larger hike in between trips to the gas station, come as no surprise, but it’s still frustrating.
“Why are we having to pay such high prices even when there is a recession?” he asked.
Unlike Wallace, Brad Jones of Summerville did catch a slight price break at his gas station of choice, as the Smart Mart on East Second had dropped its price to $3.45 by 5 p.m.
Jones, an employee of Georgia Northwestern Technical College, said he often stops at the Smart Mart because it is in a convenient location between work and home.
“I noticed that it is 6 cents cheaper than it was when I drove by this morning,” Jones added.