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Gas prices are inching back up

POSTED: January 9, 2009 12:40 a.m.
SARA GUEVARA/The Times

Ashley Morgan, 22, a health careers coordinator at the Foothills Area Health Education Center, pumps gas Thursday at Wee Willy's BP gas station at the corner of Jesse Jewell Parkway and Downey Boulevard. In the past week, gas prices have been increasing.

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If you have filled up your gas tank in the past few days, you may have noticed that you are paying more per gallon of gas than you may have paid in the past month.

According to AAA, the average cost for a gallon of fuel in Georgia increased about 6 cents from Wednesday to Thursday.

On Wednesday, the state average for a gallon of regular gasoline was around $1.61. On Thursday, that price jumped to $1.66.

While Georgia drivers are paying more for fuel, the average cost of fuel still is lower than the national average. The national average price is $1.76 per gallon of regular gasoline.

Although the prices have gone up, some Gainesville residents remember when gas prices topped $3 per gallon, so the slight increase isn’t really currently raising any eyebrows.

"It’s still an excellent price. I bought my (SUV) in March, and it used to cost me $80 to fill up my tank. But now I can fill up for around $30," said Ashley Morgan. "When gas prices were really high, I thought about selling my (SUV) and getting a car because it cost so much to fill up my tank, and I have to drive a lot for work."

According to the U.S. Energy
Department’s Energy Information Administration, there are many factors that affect the price of gasoline including taxes, refining costs and the cost of the crude oil used to create gasoline.

Currently, a barrel of crude oil costs about $48, which is about $8 higher than it was last week.

According to the Energy Department, international conflicts also can affect the cost of gas in the United States.

AAA reports that "continued fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces in the Gaza Strip over the past week and optimism for a resumption in economic growth in the new year has propped up the price of oil and given a slight lift to the national average price" of gasoline.

Locally, the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Gainesville is between $1.49 and $1.71.

Despite prices that have risen slightly during the past week, many drivers are relieved to still see prices that are less than $2.

"I never expected gas prices to go down anyway, so this is still a good price for me," Morgan said. "I think everyone is happy that it’s still under $2."

Other area drivers echo Morgan’s thoughts.

"I’m not really concerned about the increase," said Laqeisha Hayes, a Gainesville resident, while pumping gas on Thursday. "It really hasn’t gone up that much. When it gets higher than $2, then I’ll probably start to worry."



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