Gas prices on the rise; locals filling up less

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

A gas prices hit a spike this week, Selma drivers and local retailers are being affected in a pretty predictable way-it’s hitting the pocket.

She drives a Toyota Corolla and says she never fills up because its too expensive. She fills up $5 to $10 at a time.

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Raven Peoples, a Selma High student in the early college program, said she doesn’t do much driving, but says her parents are constantly complaining about the price of gas.

Shuttling Raven around to majorette practice and other activities keeps their Chrysler 300 at the pump.

Local retailers are noticing a change in buying patterns, as well. But for most, the change is slight.

Hisel said overall, he has noticed the volume of gas sales go down. &8220;People don’t run around as much,&8221; he said. Hisel also said more customers have come in saying they carpool for trips to Birmingham, Prattville, and Montgomery.

In Selma, most gas stations’ prices are set by outside distributors, and not locally, Hisel said.

The Lundberg Survey, a nationally recognized market research company, released a report Sunday that found the price for self-serve regular gasoline across the country averaged $2.96 Friday, up 16 cents from two weeks ago. Company publisher Trilby Lundberg said prices could easily cross the three dollar mark on average in coming weeks, should current trends continue.

In addition, the current price average is 76 cents higher than it was one year ago.

The price of crude oil Friday stood at a record $95.93 a barrel. In an article printed by the Chicago Tribune’s Washington, D.C. bureau Sunday, Colorado-based economist Phil Verleger stated if the per-barrel price of crude oil tops $100 in coming months, and stays there, consumer gasoline prices could be $4.50 by next summer. However, Verleger said if prices were to rise and then rapidly drop, the change would affect U.S. consumers only marginally.