Gas prices soar in South Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gas prices soar in South Georgia

February 18, 2004

Albany -- Gasoline prices continue to climb in South Georgia. For the first time this year, the cost of a gallon of gas is over one dollar and fifty cents in Albany.

Some people say they are having to alter their lifestyle because of the high cost of driving. Jim Renner from West Palm Beach, Florida filled up his motor home at the Jack Rabbit Store on Cordele Road Wednesday.

He said the price of one dollar-fifty two point nine cents per gallon for regular unleaded was the best he had seen in Florida and Alabama. Renner said "we came out of Ocala, Florida this morning, and paid about 12 cents a gallon more in Ocala."

Renner bought 25 and a half gallons, and it cost him thirty nine dollars. He said the price is high, but he is not cutting back because of the cost. "We enjoy traveling and going to dirt track late model racing. That's our priority right now, and we'll do it until we go broke."

At the next pump, Frances Patton of Albany bought five dollars worth, just a little over three gallons. Patton said she is driving less because of the cost of gas. "We used to go to my sisters in Alabama. We don't get to go there no more, because it the cost is too high."

Truck driver Jamie Tharpe said high fuel costs are making it tougher for him to earn a living hauling freight. Tharpe said "Your rates always stay the same. You can't go up because you will lose your customers. You just got to try to make it work somehow." Tharpe got 67 gallons of diesel for 100 dollars. That will get him 300 miles.

Since late December, the national average price of gas has climbed more than 17 cents a gallon. In Albany the price has gone up nearly ten cents a gallon in the last week. Fuel analyst say the price spike is caused by OPEC's decision to cut oil production, and cold weather increasing demand for heating oil.

Whatever the reason, Tharpe said he has to pay the rising cost to keep his trucks on the road.

 Analysts say that while gas prices have soared in the last two months, they may be peaking now, and could fall soon.

 The national average for a gallon of gas is one dollar and 68 cents per gallon, up nearly four cents this month.

posted at 4:37 PM by jimw@walb.com