The price of gas is an indication of how conflicts across the world effect our daily lives.
Recent upheaval in the Middle East and strong demand for oil around the world have pushed oil prices over $100 a barrel for only the second time in history, according to the Associated Press.
According to the Daily Journal website, theaverage gas price in the county is $3.55 a gallon. The lowest gas price in the state is $3.29 in Mocksville and the highest is in Greensboro, at $3.69. Maybe you’ll be glad to not live in California, where gas has reached an average of $3.82. The price of gas is that high in New York, Oregon and Washington as well. The cheapest gas in the country can be found in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado and Illinois, between $3.22 and $3.44 a gallon.
“Gas prices are ridiculous!” exclaimed Tawnya Washington. “We shouldn’t be dependent on foreign countries. People can’t travel like they used to. They can’t see their relatives. Who wants to pay $4 for gas? We can talk about these prices all day, but you gotta do what you gotta do.”
Washington works at the Kangaroo Express on U.S. 1 North in Rockingham. She said she has loyal customers that will come to get gas there no matter what, and she thinks it’s because they live close by. She is also aware of those customers who will travel around for the best gas price to fill up on. One of her colleagues lives in Moore County, and pumps gas there now, although it used to be cheaper to pump gas in Richmond County. The price of gas in Aberdeen is as low as $3.48.
“I would like to get the whole county to stand together,” said Washington, “and no one buy gas for one day.” She speculates that a boycott would stop the prices from rising, at least for a little while.
Washington said she hopes the price of gas doesn’t climb any further. She works two jobs and is a single parent.
Some businesses that depend on delivery have had to make adjustments.
Domino’s Pizza manager Glenda Hammond said, “We’ve had to go up on our delivery charge. So, it actually falls back on the customer.”
She said the owners have discussed the potential of gas prices climbing further, and said there would be a breaking point at which the restaurant would no longer deliver.
“We would go to carry-out only,” said Hammond.
Eric Snipes of Boe’s Florist in Rockingham said he is dealing with the aftermath of climbing gas prices.
“I’m still trying my best to keep the delivery charges down,” said Snipes.
He said the trucks that deliver flowers to his shop have begun to charge him more.
“If you buy just one item, they charge as much as $7,” said Snipes. Some won’t deliver without a minimum fee of about $100. He said this didn’t happen until a few years ago when gas prices shot up after Katrina. Many may remember the pumps running dry. Since then, his wholesalers have begun to charge for delivery, and for fuel.
“Ever since all that happened they haven’t gone down, just keep going up,” said Snipes. “People don’t realize everything you touch has to be delivered.”
Snipes said he’d be in real trouble if gas was too expensive; for instance if, as rumored, gas rose above $5 this summer.
“If I couldn’t get my product I could go out of business,” said Snipes.
His delivery fee is $1 per mile at the moment, and he said he doesn’t charge funeral homes or hospitals out of respect.
“I bet if gas went over $5 people would be in panic,” said Snipes.
Oil and gas are commodities, and their prices can change every second at the New York Mercantile Exchange and other trading hubs. Those far-off changes affect the cost of the next day’s commute. Sellers of commodities, like gas station owners and refineries, price their product based not on what it costs to produce it, but on what it costs to replace it.
According to AP, oil prices can be moved by geopolitics, the value of the dollar or Chinese demand. Gas prices can be moved by oil prices, refinery problems or even weather that might keep drivers at home. Gas prices are expected to rise in the next few weeks as refineries switch from cheaper winter blends to more expensive summer ones because the warm air makes gas evaporate faster.
Staff Writer Dawn Kurry can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ex. 43, or by e-mail at email@example.com.