Gas prices on the rise

Published 10:53 pm Monday, June 15, 2009

Gas prices are on the rise once again despite the fall in crude oil prices on Monday. The price per barrel is currently at $70.62 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, which is down 3 percent in the last two days.

The Southern Pantry 8 on U.S. Highway 80 East has the lowest gas prices in Selma at $2.49 per gallon, although the store has seen a 9-cent rise in prices in just the last week.

This sudden rise in gas prices has area residents searching for the best deal.

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Although The Southern Pantry 8 has the lowest price in the area, people still brave the lines at the Murphy USA station, which is adjacent to Wal-Mart, to fill up.

“I don’t always come to Wal-Mart for my gas, but I saw it was four cents cheaper than another gas station,” Barbara Williams said. “I decided to come here since it was cheaper.”

Some customers, like Edna Woods, stopped by Murphy USA due to its location.

“I didn’t pay much attention to the price,” she said. “I had to go to Wal-Mart anyway so I stopped here for gas.”

Other convenience stores have recently seen a double-digit increase in their gas prices.

The Plantersville Service Station has seen prices jump 15 cents in the past week and is currently at $2.69.

There may be some hope in sight, but with prices expecting to peak in the next couple of days, many gas stations have no idea what gas prices will be like tomorrow or a week from now because each day these stations get the new price list from suppliers.

Lowell Butts, the manager at Crossroads Exxon on U.S. Highway 80 West, says relief may not be seen until late into the summer.

“Gas will probably go up until after the Fourth of July,” said Butts.

With prices rising steadily, drivers often try to save every ounce of gas that they can. The Federal Trade Commission website says that going the regulated speed and keeping tires properly aired and aligned can help save drivers money, as well as changing the filters in the vehicle.

Combined, these tips can save a driver over 13 percent in gas mileage.

According to the Alabama AAA, the average cost to fill up a 15-gallon gas tank is $39.06, up from the last month’s price of $33.89. Last year, the average was $24.75 to fill up.

The national average is currently at $2.67 per gallon. The national average from 6 months ago was $1.64. There has been a 60 percent increase in prices so far this year.

The most expensive gas in the area is located at the Petro Food and Gas on U.S. Highway 80 East, priced at $2.71 per gallon.

Huntsville has the lowest gas prices in Alabama with several stores offering gas at $2.35 per gallon.

AP and Katie Nichols contributed to the story.