Gas prices heading back up in Alabama

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The average for gas in Alabama has risen almost 19 cents a gallon over the past week, bringing the average price to $4.02 a gallon.

Local resident Patsy Edwards said the hike is alarming.

“It seems to be going up more and more each time I go to get gas,” Edwards said.

AAA Alabama Public Relations and Marketing Director Clay Ingram said prices usually go up a smidge between early May and Memorial Day weekend, but this much of a jump is concerning.

“Our crude oil prices haven’t really changed, and the last time our crude prices were around this level our pump prices were about 50 cents a gallon less than they are right now,” Ingram said. “Seeing this kind of jump is a little surprising even though our demand is pumping up a little bit. It sort of felt like we had a pretty good cushion built into our prices already to help absorb some of these demand increases, but evidently, it’s not helping very much.”

Ingram said the last time the crude oil prices were around this price, gas prices were about 50 cents lower than right now.

Prices are 16 cents higher than a month ago and $1.34 higher than a year ago. The increase is affecting how much people drive and how much they fill up their tanks.

“I’ve actually cut down on some of my coming and going,” Edwards said. “Now it’s like I can’t afford to fill it up, to be honest. I may just get half a tank whereas I used to fill it up normally.”

Tuscaloosan Frances Coleman said it’s ridiculous because the prices make it too expensive to travel back and forth to Birmingham, where his mother and grandchildren are.

“I have to fill up once a week,” Coleman said. “But now I can’t, and I also had to take on a second job just to be able to keep gas in my car and purchase other things that we need. These prices really need to drop.”

Ingram said it’s hard to say when the pump pressure will ebb once again, but he doesn’t think prices will go down until the situation between Russia and Ukraine is resolved.

“Well, I understand what all is going on, the reason why the gas is up high. But I shudder to think what we might do this summer,” Edwards said.  “As we are able to get out and travel, how that’s going to affect us.”

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