Gas prices flirt with #036;3 mark again

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2007

As summer continues, motorists may have noticed that the price of gas is on the rise again, as barrels of oil sell at record highs.

Last Thursday, oil traded at a historic $76 a barrel and almost immediately billboards for area convenience stores reflected the increase.

On Monday, Connie Sullivan, of Lowndes County was filling up her Chevrolet Tahoe at the Chevron at the corner of the Greenville Bypass and Fort Dale

Road. She joked that she drove in on fumes and the $73 in gas she pumped reflected it.

&#8220I think its extremely wrong for the prices to be this high,” she said. &#8220I have to commute to work and I also have four children. I can't put them safely in my opinion in a small car and drive them. This vehicle fits our needs.”

She said she and her husband were considering a hybrid vehicle, but she said price was a determining factor.

&#8220Have you seen the prices for some of those things?” she said. &#8220The government is urging everyone to buy them, but who can afford them right now? I'm sure in about 10 years when there is an abundance there will be some reduction in the costs or knowing how things are they'll be even more expensive.”

Sullivan said gas prices began to rise in 2001.

&#8220On Sept. 11, I filled up that morning and I think I paid around $1.50 a gallon,” she said. &#8220The very next day, the same gas station I use had changed their signs and gas had gone up 40 cents.”

Across the interstate, another driver, Bill Slovan, also voiced his concern over the prices. He was on his way home to Florida and stopped in Greenville to fill up.

&#8220I really came the wrong way back,” he said. &#8220I came up through Opp the other day and I stopped down there and gas was $2.76 a gallon. Twenty miles up the road, I noticed it was almost $3. It doesn't make sense to me. Stations under the same brand name and the price is that different. Makes you question the claim that these stations can't control the price of gas, or their suppliers can't.”

When he topped off his tank, he was out $54.

&#8220I have to drive a lot for my job and I'm finding that I'm paying out about $350 a month in gas,” he said.

&#8220That's $350 that I can't use to buy food and clothing for my family. I'm not talking about a vacation, I'm talking about basic necessities like a place to live and food to eat.”

He said he gets angry every time he hears about oil companies earnings.

&#8220They're raking in billions and it's off the sweat and hard work of the working class because they know we have to have their product to live our daily lives,” he said. &#8220Just thinking about it and blood is boiling over it.”

A survey completed by AAA showed that on Monday, the average price of regular unleaded was $2.89 for the Greenville area.

The average price for the same gasoline in Montgomery $2.93 while drivers in Brantley was paying $2.78 a gallon. In Andalusia, the gas hovered at the $2.79 to $2.81 mark.

In a recent report, it was reported that Alabamians in the top states that is hardest hit by high gas prices.

According tothe Natural Resources Defense Council, Alabama Alabama ranks 14th among states most affected by high gas prices. That same study finds that the average Alabamian spends 4.6 percent of their total income on gasoline.