Gas prices rise as Irene nears coast - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gas prices rise as Irene nears coast

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As we prepare for Hurricane Irene to pound the East coast, those preparations may affect us at the pump.

Oil refineries along the coast shut down in preparation for Irene.

Which will likely result in higher gas prices.

"It's more money gimmicks. That's how I feel. It's ridiculous I'm paying over three dollars and something for a gallon of gas when four or five years ago we were pretty close to two bucks. I remember when gas was 90 cents a gallon," said driver Jared Wilds.

Jared Wilds paid $85 to fill up his Suburban and when he heard news of prices climbing again, he was frustrated.

"It's all money gimmicks man, that's really all it is. That's all they want but I understand we got to have gas as a way of living," said Wilds.

Darton College Economist Aaron Johnson says the US has seen this type of behavior before and he calls it a "self fulfilling prophecy".

"We've seen through previous patterns that, typically, gas prices rise significantly after a natural disaster. So what ends up happening is everybody starts going out and buying gasoline right away and they run out of capacity which just makes the problem even worse," said Johnson.

Driver Lillie Thomas says gas prices are already taking a toll on the working class and the increase certainly won't help the situation.

"It's a burden on people. It's a headache. Some people work from paycheck to paycheck, so that's why I'm saying it's a burden," said Thomas.

So while many of us may not feel the direct impact of Irene, we may feel the effects.

The record average price for gas in Albany reached $4.30 in September 2008 after the Gulf Coast took back to back hits from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Some airlines are preparing for Hurricane Irene by allowing passengers to change their plans without penalty if they're traveling to areas that could be impacted by the storm.

 

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