Gas prices heading toward $3 a gallon, AAA says

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 10:24 AM
Last updated 10:37 AM
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Welcome economic news might translate to higher gasoline prices in time for the summer travel season.

Drivers fill fuel tankers at a depot on Friday in Harrisburg, Pa.   Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Photo/Carolyn Kaster
Drivers fill fuel tankers at a depot on Friday in Harrisburg, Pa.

"Our forecasts show that we very well may see $3 per gallon gasoline, and maybe even as high as $3.10, sometime this summer," said Jessica Brady of the AAA Auto Club South that serves the Georgia and Florida regions. "But we also hope it will be very short-lived."

Gas prices are already substantially higher than a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which this week reported a national average price of $2.751 cents per gallon of regular fuel. In mid-March 2009, the national average was $1.91.

Brady said the gradual climb in pump prices-and the forecast that the spike may continue-is linked to investor confidence in economic indicators that have been decidedly positive in recent weeks.

"Fuel consumption was up 3 percent year-over-year last month," she said. "In another report that came out last week, from the Labor Department, the unemployment rate did not rise as expected."

When the economy looks good, investors become more confident that people will travel more-and fuel demand will increase. More demand, she added, can create higher prices.

Rising per-barrel prices for crude oil is another indicator of future pump prices.

"Last week, we noticed gasoline prices had remained more stable, but when crude closed higher last Friday, retail prices moved up in just a few days," she said.

Friday's closing was $81.50 per barrel, compared to $79.66 the previous week, and $78.19 the week before that. "We've seen, over three weeks, a steady increase in crude oil."

The Energy Information Administration's long-term outlook also calls for $3 per gallon gasoline later this year.

"EIA forecasts that the annual average regular grade retail gasoline price will increase from $2.35 per gallon in 2009 to $2.84 in 2010 and to $2.96 in 2011 because of the projected rising crude oil prices," said the group's newest forecast, posted Tuesday. "Average U.S. pump prices likely will exceed $3 per gallon at times during the forthcoming spring and summer driving season. Projected annual average retail diesel fuel prices are $2.96 and $3.14 per gallon, respectively, in 2010 and 2011."

Although prices are rising, Georgia still enjoys one the nation's lowest average gas prices, and Augusta historically has some of the lowest prices in Georgia.

"Georgia, when compared to Florida and a lot of other areas of the country, has lower prices than most," Brady said, noting that the state average for a gallon of regular is $2.69, compared to $2.82 in Florida.

Augusta's per-gallon average of $2.66, she added, is much lower than the state average.

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themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 03/10/10 - 10:38 am
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Don't worry, somewhere in the

Don't worry, somewhere in the bowels of the White House, the Obama Oil Company is taking shape.That's change we can believe in.

baronvonreich
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baronvonreich 03/10/10 - 11:49 am
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Where are all the talking who

Where are all the talking who blamed Bush/Cheney and their "big oil buddies" for the rise in the price of oil and gasoline? Why has the price of oil doubled since Obama has been in office then? I guess even though Bush/Cheney occupy alot of space in the minds of the ignorant and weak, even their almighty selves couldn't set the price of a global free market commodity. Go figure.

Chillen
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Chillen 03/10/10 - 12:02 pm
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Here you go Baron - It's all

Here you go Baron - It's all Bushes fault! That evil, horrible man! I can't believe he is sitting over there on his richy-richy ranch and ruining this economy, causing inflation and making gas prices increase. lol!

Chillen
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Chillen 03/10/10 - 01:32 pm
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Oh, and back to the

Oh, and back to the article....fear alone will drive the price up. Watch everyone run out & fill out their tank today. Supply & Demand people.

miles_kilpatrick
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miles_kilpatrick 03/10/10 - 12:22 pm
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Here we go again…look for

Here we go again…look for more talk of hybrids and electric cars to follow.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 03/10/10 - 12:58 pm
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"look for more talk of

"look for more talk of hybrids and electric cars to follow"- We are approaching the debut of Obama Motor Company, which will be followed by Obama Electric and Gas Company. It's change we'll have to believe in. There will not be anything else.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 03/10/10 - 01:01 pm
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By the way, not to worry,

By the way, not to worry, Obama will see to it that we get what he proposes, because soon he will introduce an abolishment to term limits, declare himself dictator, and be in charge of his own country.

Fish Out of Water
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Fish Out of Water 03/10/10 - 01:07 pm
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I see paranoia and gas prices

I see paranoia and gas prices are both on the rise here in Augusta.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 03/10/10 - 01:09 pm
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The whole problem is that we

The whole problem is that we the American citizen, are like sheep. The big bad wolf shows up bearing his teeth and growling, and we all run for cover. So the big bad wolf saunters back into the woods a little, we(sheep) think it safe to go back in the pasture, while the whole time the big bad wolf is hiding, watching us and licking his chops. And then he shows up again, this time huffing and puffing, and what do we do? Run for cover again.The big bad wolf finally figures out he can control us with his actions, and like the three little pigs, he will blow our house down. It's change we can believe in. We will have no other choice, because we did not believe strongly enough in our values and principles beforehand.

disssman
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disssman 03/10/10 - 01:15 pm
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Do I remember paying over

Do I remember paying over $4.00 a gallon under the "W" umbrella? I just wonder what the price of gas would be if we hadn't stopped all the violence in Iraq? Oh wait a minute, we still have violence. Well, why did we go to war? I thought it was to stop the violence? I would be perfectly happy with costly gas. That means the baboom, baboom, baboom boys ar forced to sit at home.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 03/10/10 - 01:21 pm
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Fish out of water- I don't

Fish out of water- I don't think anyone is paranoid. We all know full well what is going on. So does Obama. Watch what I am saying. He wants you to think he is helping you, those evil health insurance companies are out to ruin you.Take his plan while there is time. But tell me this; who is charging the insurance companies?---anyone--.That's right, I heard someone say the doctors and hospitals. They will be the next target for Obama. It's just like gas, who is responsible for gas prices? You are exactly right, the big oil companies. So, once Obama can control health care, he will have to control the healthcare providers. Since he already has two car companies under government control, guess what's next? You guessed it the oil companies. Since I contol what type of car you can drive, then I want to control the price of the fuel you put in it.In economics it is referred to as monopoly, in government it is referred to as socialism.

Chillen
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Chillen 03/10/10 - 01:38 pm
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We need to start drilling for

We need to start drilling for our own oil! Now!!!

The beginning rumblings of inflation are already hitting us. Imagine this added to it.....increasing our commute expense, increasing costs for transportation of goods & services. I know the article says only $3, but if for some reason the prices go up to $5 or $6 per gallon (and the certainly could), this recession will spiral into a depression like a rocket.

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