Gas price jumps, but still lower than ‘08

Published 11:59 pm Monday, June 15, 2009

As the number of days from now until the July 4th holiday decreases, local residents have been watching as the price of gas increases.

Gas prices throughout the county are down roughly $1.40 compared to this time last year, but just one month ago, gas was about 34 cents cheaper.

Around Andalusia, prices for unleaded gas averaged $2.51 a gallon on Monday, according to the Web site, which gives comparisons for local gas stations.

One year ago, gas prices peaked locally at $3.92 a gallon — nationally, the highest price on record occurred on July 17, 2008, when unleaded gas climbed to $4.114 a gallon.

Local residents at the Gitty-Up-N-Go on Stanley Avenue said the summer is shaping up to be another record breaker in the area of gas prices.

“Today, $7 filled my car up, but that was all I needed,” said Andalusia resident Lynn Johnson. “The price now is too high. Typically, I spend between $40 and $50 a week to fill up. Since gas has gone up … golly, I don’t know what’s going on with gas prices. All I can say is it’s too high.”

Store cashier Frieda Bass said the store has routine customers who come every day and get “about $3 worth” of gas.

“Because of the price of everything, they don’t want to cut themselves short I guess is why,” Bass said. “I don’t see how they can get where they’re going on $3 worth of gas. That’s not even a whole gallon of gas.

“Times are tough everywhere,” she said, speaking of how her husband was laid off and has been without work for a year. “It’s tough on everyone. We all get what we need to get by.”

Oftentimes, she said, customers blame storeowners for the high gas prices.

“And that’s not true,” she said. “Stores are at the mercy of their distributors.”

Retired schoolteacher Bobby McGhee said gas is like food.

“You’ve just got to have it,” McGhee said. “There’s trips to the doctor to make; other places to go. You just got to pay what they’re asking for it. It’s like food. You can’t do without it.”

And just how high does he think will the price climb?

“Until it stops,” Bass said.