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Gas prices have been at the front of commuters’ minds as they stop to fill up their tanks, so the recent rise in gas prices did not go unnoticed by Susan Harris of Gainesville as she stopped to fill up Monday at the Kroger on Thompson Bridge Road.
“I’m glad they are down, but now they’ve gone back up,” Harris said.
In the last week the average price in Georgia has increased by two cents per gallon. But Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said he is confident the trend of rising gas prices in Georgia will be short-lived.
“We saw a little bit of an uptick in the wholesale prices, but we don’t believe that is going to be a long-lived increase,” Laskoski said, adding that the increase in gas prices in both Georgia and South Carolina were caused by refineries turning over production from the summer blend to winter blend gasoline and slight issues Colonial Pipeline recently experienced in a couple of its pipelines.
“I think we are going to see those issues correcting themselves,” Laskoski said.
GasBuddy is a company that tracks gas prices and reports trends through websites and apps.
With a state average of $2.15 per gallon, it is still less than the national average, which was $2.28 per gallon on Monday. That’s a significant drop from last year’s average, which was $3.30 per gallon, according to the Georgia GasBuddy website.
“This is fantastic that it’s lower (than last year). It’s not as bad for me because I don’t travel very far. But my husband works in Duluth, so any time it’s lower, that’s good,” Harris said.
While she said she uses phone apps to find lower gas prices when traveling, her everyday commute isn’t an issue.
“The holidays are coming,” Harris said. “Of course we’re going to be traveling, and the further we go, the more of this we’ll need,” she said, gesturing to the gas pump.
The summer blend gas is regulated by the federal government and the Environmental Protection Agency, which requires a cleaner burning gasoline from May 1-Sept. 30. Laskoski explained that after the summer driving season ends, usually after Labor Day, refineries begin switching from the more expensive summer blend to the less expensive
“The reason it’s cheaper is because it has fewer additives in it. The additives that go into the summer blend gasoline are there to let it burn cleaner,” Laskoski said. “In the next month we wouldn’t be surprised at all if we saw the Georgia average price hit below two dollars a gallon.”
Filling up her SUV, Victoria Martin of Gainesville was just happy to see prices close to $2 a gallon.
“It’s nice that they’re lower. I can fill my gas tank up for half what I used to,” Martin said.
Barring any unforeseen geopolitical issues or any natural disasters, Laskoski doesn’t expect any spikes in prices heading into the fall.
“Right now we expect that we’re going to see a consistent nominal decrease week after week from now probably through the remainder of the year,” Laskoski said.