Drivers accustomed to high prices at pump

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 3:48 PM
Last updated 8:34 PM
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As gas prices hover near the $3.50 mark, analysts say many Americans aren’t curtailing driving habits as they did several years ago.
Many people have factored the expense into their lifestyle, said David Hunt, a sociology professor at Augusta State University.

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Brett Savage gets gas Friday. Analysts say many Americans aren't curtailing driving habits as they did years ago.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Brett Savage gets gas Friday. Analysts say many Americans aren't curtailing driving habits as they did years ago.

“They’ve seen it once. They’ve adjusted to it,” he said.

Analysts predict fuel prices could hit $4 a gallon by May, said AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady. In March, many oil refineries shut down for maintenance, which drives prices up into the summer.

Several years ago, Spencer Peters, of Augusta, wrote his own rule to never spend more than $40 on gas at once. He hasn’t broken the rule but says he might have to modify it to $45 in coming months.

“I’m doing the same thing I did the first time they raised it,” Peters said. “I go to work and come home.”

January’s average price was $3.37, the highest ever in that month, AAA said. In Augusta, gas averaged $3.48 on Friday.

“People have hit $3.50 before. They realize they can ride it out,” Brady said.

Brett Savage, of North Augusta, said he hasn’t gotten used to the way high prices affect his towing company.

“We go from call to call. The rest of the time we don’t do any driving around,” he said.

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Fools_and_sages
360
Points
Fools_and_sages 02/12/12 - 06:17 pm
0
0

If you live or work close

Unpublished

If you live or work close enough to the SC border, buy your gas in SC. Since SC's gas tax is lower, you will usually get an automatic "discount" of 10 to 15 cents just by crossing the border. If you go to Kroger and have enough Kroger points to get 10 cents off, now you're saving 20 to 25 cents a gallon. Over the last several days, I noted that gas was somewhere between $3.45 and $3.60 at the stations on Washington Rd., Wrightsboro Rd., and Wheeler Rd. in Augusta. This morning, I crossed into SC and it was $3.33 a gallon. If you use your Kroger points, you're saving even more. If you live or work close enough to the border, it is worth it. If I judge by Kroger prices in GA, I saved $4.40 today just by buying gas in SC. If I judge by Shell prices in GA, I saved about $5.80. I don't like taking my business out of the city I live in, but if the GA gas tax is going to cost me that much extra, I'm going to SC! Consider it a tax protest.

socks99
250
Points
socks99 02/12/12 - 06:50 pm
0
0

One wonders if this article

One wonders if this article was motivated by some unknown and secret agenda? First, the sociology professor offers opinion, only, as though he was prompted by the reporter; likewise, Ms. Brady -- who earns a better living when drivers drive more -- is not convincing and potentially has a conflict of interest.

If the "powers-that-be" want the public to "get used to it" and continue driving and consuming "like before," well I think they might have a gas shortage of their own. In general, higher gas prices will directly subtract money from other areas of the service economy -- restaurants; dry cleaners; car washes; other retail establishments -- and ratchet down activity there leading to job losses and business closures and/or bankruptcies.

The public needs to realize that a U.S. policy designed to cheapen the dollar is behind rising prices and the volatility of those prices. When they see the Greeks rioting in the streets of Athens, perhaps the public might consider how it could send a message of its own to our leaders in Congress, the White House, and the Federal Reserve? None of THEM, I bet, plan to change their driving habits!

corgimom
19308
Points
corgimom 02/12/12 - 08:00 pm
0
0

No, they won't change their

No, they won't change their driving habits. No wealthy person will. Rich people have the latitude to absorb the increase.

It'll be the middle and lower class folks that will be hit, and hit hard.

jeff scott
151
Points
jeff scott 02/12/12 - 11:07 pm
0
0

From December 2008: "Mr.

From December 2008:
"Mr. Obama plans soon to introduce his energy and environment team, which will include Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu as energy secretary and former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner as White House energy adviser.
"Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," Mr. Chu, who directs the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in September 2008."
So....America, you got what you asked for....3 months after Chu says this, Obama hires him. Can it get any more plain than that? And then he makes it harder to drill and pipe oil to refineries. What will gas cost after 4 more years of Obama?

allhans
21956
Points
allhans 02/12/12 - 11:44 pm
0
0

We will have to make up the

We will have to make up the difference somewhere. Mine will probably be on groceries. Either way, we all lose.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 02/13/12 - 04:55 am
0
0

Folks expect prices to be

Folks expect prices to be fairly stable yet,a democrat congress can't(won't) come up with a budget (going on three years). How long could you juggle the books until it catchs up with you? Three years?

InChristLove
21799
Points
InChristLove 02/13/12 - 06:53 am
0
0

allhans, problem is it's hard

allhans, problem is it's hard to make up the difference somewhere else because as gas prices go up so does everything else. Groceries are going to go up because the people who ship them have to pay more for gas to haul them. It's a no win situation.

seenitB4
72829
Points
seenitB4 02/13/12 - 07:11 am
0
0

It is a no win situation for

It is a no win situation for the middle class.....they have to work & usually the job is 30 minutes away....
Will the day come that we don't need the oil companies any more.....I hope so.

DuhJudge
203
Points
DuhJudge 02/13/12 - 08:10 am
0
0

Buying gasoline is an

Buying gasoline is an irrational decision. If a gallon costs $3.50 and your car get 20 miles to the gallon, then it costs you 17.5 cents per mile. If going to South Carolina is a 5 mile drive, then the cost to go and come back is $1.75. And if you purchased 14 gallons, you just took $1.55 out of your county sales tax revenues that is used to educate your children with, pave your roads with, and protect you with. You also took $1.68 out of the state sales tax and another $1.06 of money the DOT uses to build your roads with. The South Carolina sales tax has not changed since 1985. Georgia taxes change three times a year, but you live in Georgia. Leave your taxes where you live. Choosing gas to put into your $50,000 car to save 5 cents per gallon.....irrational.

Just My Opinion
4669
Points
Just My Opinion 02/13/12 - 09:29 am
0
0

Why do we have to wait to

Why do we have to wait to change our driving habits to spark a drop in gas prices? The oil companies have desensitized us to "accept" these high gas prices....and we know it. Well, hopefully when it goes OVER 3.50, then people will realize that we're just getting screwed.....AGAIN!

allhans
21956
Points
allhans 02/13/12 - 09:31 am
0
0

DuhJudge Thank you. I

DuhJudge Thank you. I haven't been able to convince my neighbors that they aren't saving money when they drive further but instead are costing our community.

allhans
21956
Points
allhans 02/13/12 - 09:32 am
0
0

Can we still blame the high

Can we still blame the high prices on Bush-Cheney?

twolane
191
Points
twolane 02/13/12 - 12:10 pm
0
0

if you go buy starbucks

Unpublished

if you go buy starbucks coffee you shouldnt even comment on gas prices in my opinion

cytoranger
6
Points
cytoranger 02/13/12 - 08:11 pm
0
0

Obama said he wanted $5 gas

Obama said he wanted $5 gas when he took office 2buchanan would force Americans to buy electric hybrids. Well, we can't afford hybrids and from what I read they are s&$$Ty and catch on fire. If the price of oil.is down and there is a surplus of gas where is the increase I'm cost. That my friend, is our train wreck of a deflated.dollar thanks to this administration. Thinly.about that when you cote. Before hebtook office gas was $168 a gallon . Don't seem so.high.now.does:it. And I promise no one is getting use.to these prices.

cytoranger
6
Points
cytoranger 02/13/12 - 08:14 pm
0
0

I.meant a $1.68 a gallon and

I.meant a $1.68 a gallon and the rest of my spelling is atributed to outrage and not illiteracy.

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