Augusta gas hits $2.14 a gallon

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Reginald Bell didn't know he was in for a surprise when he pulled his car up to a Shell station earlier this week.

The $30 that filled up his small SUV last week gave him just over half a tank Wednesday.

"I just now noticed it. It's like it happened overnight," he said. "I'm just like, 'What happened?' "

Consumers across the area and nation have noticed a swift rise in fuel prices over the past several days. On Sunday the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas had jumped to $2.31 from $2.21 a week before, according to AAA's daily fuel gauge report. In the Augusta area, the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gas had risen from $2.04 to an average of $2.14.

In spite of the increase, industry experts say they expect a price slowdown in the coming weeks.

Gas prices regularly increase when the summer approaches because of a change from winter blend to summer blend fuel, said Lynda Hines, a spokeswoman for Augusta's AAA Auto Club South. The additives increase gas prices in the summer, but the jump will not compare to last year's, Ms. Hines said.

A year ago, motorists paid an average of $3.70 for a gallon of unleaded gas in the Augusta area, and $3.77 on average nationally. Last summer's high gas prices were, in part, because of oil prices that soared above $100 a barrel. A barrel of oil now costs less than $57, said Jessica Brady, the regional public relations specialist for AAA.

Industry experts believe the improving economy will put more drivers on the road. About 876,000 Georgia motorists traveled on Memorial Day weekend last year, according to a survey by AAA. This year, more than 908,000 plan to travel on Memorial Day weekend, and 83 percent of those surveyed said they will travel by vehicle.

"Whenever the economy improves, there's an increase in demand for gas," Mrs. Brady said. "Since more people are expected to be on the road, it appears we have had some economic recovery."

U.S. Department of Energy officials expect gas prices to level out at about $2.25 per gallon for regular unleaded gas, Mrs. Brady said. AAA estimates a national average of $2.50 a gallon as the max this summer.

Marty Koger, the owner of 12 BP gas stations in Augusta and Thomson, said higher gas prices, even if much lower than last summer, won't be good for business.

"I really don't think people are any better off today than they were last year," Mr. Koger said. "The increase means it's more difficult for us to sell either way."

David Black said the summer gas prices will keep him close to his Evans home on Memorial Day weekend.

"A month ago, it cost me less than $50 to fill my van up. Now it costs $62," he said while filling up at a Shell station Wednesday. "I'm still going to enjoy my long drives, but I won't be traveling out of town."

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.


PRICES AT THE PUMP
  TODAY LAST WEEK LAST MONTH
Augusta area 2.14 2.04 1.87
Georgia 2.18 2.10 1.91
U.S. 2.31 2.21 2.05

Source: AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report

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NEone
6
Points
NEone 05/18/09 - 01:00 am
0
0
"I really don't think people

"I really don't think people are any better off today than they were last year," Mr. Koger said. What? You mean paying $2.14/gal. is the same thing as paying last year's $3.70? Must be some sort of new math at work here.

Reality
3
Points
Reality 05/18/09 - 01:39 am
0
0
It is the same math that

It is the same math that doesn't let your paycheck keep up with inflation or record Exxon profits.....You are still cheaper than the $6 a gallon we pay here.....

NEone
6
Points
NEone 05/18/09 - 01:52 am
0
0
I hear you, Reality. Where I

I hear you, Reality. Where I live, they don't even sell regular unleaded. We have to buy super. So I'm tired of the whining out of Augusta all the time. Their prices are cheaper than the state and federal averages. Get over it!

Just My Opinion
5454
Points
Just My Opinion 05/18/09 - 04:24 am
0
0
I think what Mr. Koger meant

I think what Mr. Koger meant was that, even the prices are lower than they were last year, many more people are either out of a job completely, or in a situation where economic cut-backs are occuring in their households. I'm surprised at how much of a difference it has made with just this "little bit" of an increase.

debby
12
Points
debby 05/18/09 - 05:15 am
0
0
Gas was $2.03 at the I-20

Gas was $2.03 at the I-20 interchange when I drove through Thomson last night

wizzardx1
0
Points
wizzardx1 05/18/09 - 06:11 am
0
0
If these people are SURPRISED

If these people are SURPRISED by rising gas prices,I've got some oceanfront property in Arizona for sale.Are you just now realizing that lower gas prices were just a ploy to get hussien elected and now the oil companies expect to be paid back?

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 05/18/09 - 07:00 am
0
0
"it's Bush's fault"

"it's Bush's fault"

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 05/18/09 - 07:24 am
0
0
wiz: Are you totally nuts? Do

wiz: Are you totally nuts? Do you really think the oil companies would rather have a Dem in the Whitehouse?

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 05/18/09 - 07:26 am
0
0
Just another way to stick it

Just another way to stick it to the working class and line the pockets of the big oil boys.......

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 05/18/09 - 07:33 am
0
0
NEone,Whining out of Augusta

NEone,Whining out of Augusta you say, apparently you must love it, you are always posting, for someone who doesn't live here you sure love to keep up with all that goes on down here with all the whinners. My sister in-law lives in Cali where gas prices are way above what they are here, does that make it right that anyone has to pay these high prices, no but in the same token she makes more out there than people in Georgia make. Everyone should be mad about gas prices and about the fact that food prices shot up over the last gas hike and although gas came down food never did.....like I said before, anyway to get over on the working class, we are the ones who suffer for all of this.

jubalaearly
0
Points
jubalaearly 05/18/09 - 07:34 am
0
0
tech, no, they don't care,

tech, no, they don't care, crooks are the same whether dem or repub. Thus the goughing begins again, bend over!!!!!

dhd1108
1
Points
dhd1108 05/18/09 - 07:34 am
0
0
and the beat goes on

and the beat goes on

shaglorious
0
Points
shaglorious 05/18/09 - 07:46 am
0
0
I the govt needs to have a

I the govt needs to have a full investigation on this.....hahahahaha

coolette
10
Points
coolette 05/18/09 - 08:00 am
0
0
Walmart in Evans has it for

Walmart in Evans has it for 2.07 per gallon.

George30909
0
Points
George30909 05/18/09 - 08:18 am
0
0
Whew at least Bush cant be

Whew at least Bush cant be blamed this time it is Spooky Obama. That fool scares me.

NEone
6
Points
NEone 05/18/09 - 08:34 am
0
0
5:00: I still vote there.

5:00: I still vote there. It's my duty to keep up with the politics and events in the area. Should I vote for the new splost or not? What about our local and state representatives? Is there a better way for me to feel the pulse of Augusta? Didn't think so.

3headedbeast
0
Points
3headedbeast 05/18/09 - 08:39 am
0
0
I brought several SUV last

I brought several SUV last year in July and August when gas prices sky rocketed from patrons who used SUPER unleaded because they could not afford to keep gas in their SUV.Look like we are heading in the same direction again $4.50 a gallon for unleaded fuel by August.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 05/18/09 - 09:54 am
0
0
I have rewritten mr. Kogers

I have rewritten mr. Kogers statement in a way that young people would better understand. "Like I really like don't like think people are like any better off like today than like they were like last year," Mr. Koger like said. What? You mean like paying like $2.14/gal. is like the same thing as like paying last year's like $3.70? like Must be like some sort of like new math at work like here." And that in a nut shell is why our country is going full tilt in reverse. If you don't believe my assessmant of they way young and supposedly grown, people talk is correct, just like listen in on like conversations at like the like mall.

Grasshopper
7
Points
Grasshopper 05/18/09 - 10:37 am
0
0
Inflation?

Inflation?

noway
201
Points
noway 05/18/09 - 11:31 am
0
0
wow, we need a news article

wow, we need a news article to tell us how much we are paying for gas? and you wonder why readership is down?

pointstoponder
161
Points
pointstoponder 05/18/09 - 11:50 am
0
0
Change to summer formulation?

Change to summer formulation? I thought the change to winter formulation cause the increases. Oh yeah and I heard there was a refinery explosion in the NE yesterday or last night. Get ready for a few more cents per gallon.

Frank I
1172
Points
Frank I 05/18/09 - 12:47 pm
0
0
"Change to summer

"Change to summer formulation? I thought the change to winter formulation cause the increases." Both statements are correct.. there is a slight increase at the onset of colder months and then it goes down and then again at the onset of the warmer months there is an increase.. both are due to slightly lower volumes as the refineries switch the types of additives and the available fuel is slightly lower than other times.. here in the south we don't see the importance of the changes, but farther north the difference in the fuels is important..

justthefacts
21260
Points
justthefacts 05/18/09 - 01:00 pm
0
0
I heard that Biden had a

I heard that Biden had a secret meeting with the oil companies.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 05/18/09 - 01:48 pm
0
0
NEone, so if you still vote

NEone, so if you still vote here and have lived here in the past then you must know also that wages are lower here than other parts of the country so instead of calling people who complain about the gas prices whinners maybe you should realize that they might not can simply afford it when it goes up almost .30 a gallon in less than a month for no apparent reason. It hurts alot of people who live on low wages and fixed incomes, it has nothing to do with people whinning.

NEone
6
Points
NEone 05/18/09 - 03:44 pm
0
0
5:00, Sorry. Wages are

5:00, Sorry. Wages are lower, prices are lower. It all evens out. They still whine. And the noun form is "whiners".

joekm46
0
Points
joekm46 05/18/09 - 05:03 pm
0
0
Only in America... like my

Only in America... like my pops always said" Love it or leave it"

Tots
25852
Points
Tots 05/18/09 - 05:42 pm
0
0
Some people are going to have

Some people are going to have to stop getting their nails and hair done ever week.Maybe stop smokeing two and a half packs of cigarettes a day.I dont like the increase but new it was comeing.I've got it budgeted into what I'll need to live off ever month.I'll be ok cause I live within my means.Which means I'll continue to live on the South side.Only takes me eight minutes to get to work.Took forty five when I lived in Thomson.Dont miss I-20 are paying all that money for gas.

Rutherford
0
Points
Rutherford 05/18/09 - 05:43 pm
0
0
Thank God we still have gas

Thank God we still have gas to buy!

g-dog express
0
Points
g-dog express 05/18/09 - 05:47 pm
0
0
It is all a pack of lies.

It is all a pack of lies. Price per barrel goes down; price at pump goes up. You watch the price will go up for winter blends. Obama has been after the automakers, the bankers, and the investment firms. Has he said a word about oil? Nope!!!!! Guess he thinks it is now OK to gouge people at the pump.

Tots
25852
Points
Tots 05/18/09 - 06:25 pm
0
0
q-d-express-Do what? What do

q-d-express-Do what? What do you mean by Obama is after the automakers,bankers and investment firms? He has been giveing them stimulus and bailout money.ALOT...How is that working out?

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