Fill’er Up!

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 5, 2003

Selma gas prices on the rise

By Tracie Troha / Selma Times – Journal

Driving around Selma has suddenly become a lot more costly. Gas prices rose an average of two to five cents at most gas stations over the weekend.

Currently, the cost of regular unleaded gasoline is around $1.54 per gallon.

High gas prices are nothing new. Depending on a number of factors, such as the world crude-oil market, the cost per gallon can fluctuate widely in any given month.

Sources within a local oil company say a combination of weather, potential war with Iraq, and the oil strike in Venezuela have all contributed to the most recent increase.

In December, the Venezuela strike caused oil prices in the United States to reach a two-year high. The country normally provides 14 percent of U.S. oil imports.

However, Kelley predicted that prices will remain about the same, even if the United States goes to war with Iraq.

The average gas prices for the state is $1.48, which is 41 cents higher than last year. The current national average is $1.53.

About 37 percent of that goes to crude oil suppliers. The amount of oil exported from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries largely determines the price of a barrel of oil.

Consumers also pay for the cost of refining the oil and transportation to gas stations.

State taxes play the biggest role in determining the different prices around the country, accounting for 27 percent of the total price.

As locals here feel the crunch of rising prices, some have decided to try alternative methods of getting around.

Until that day comes, area residents will have to open their wallets a little wider.