Rising gas prices cause for concern at the pump

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, October 27, 2021

After more than a decade of falling, or at least stabilizing, gasoline prices, the country’s dependence on foreign oil has joined with rising inflation and COVID-19 shortages to bump up prices at the pump. That means Mississippians are now paying more than $3 for a gallon of gas – with the holidays fast approaching.

As of Oct. 25, gas prices averaged $3.04 a gallon in Mississippi, according to GasBuddy.com, a site that gathers station-level data. The entity noted that gas prices rose 6.6 cents per gallon in the past week. “GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,014 stations in Mississippi … are 25.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago and stand $1.23 [a gallon] higher than a year ago,” the report said. The cheapest station in Mississippi was priced at $2.77 a gallon, while the most expensive was $3.39 a gallon, a difference of 62.0 cents per gallon.

The report outlined the rise of gasoline in the state as well as the rest of the nation. “The national average price of gasoline has risen 3.8 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.36 a gallon [Oct. 25],” the report said. “The national average is up 17.1 cents per gallon from a month ago and stands at $1.21 a gallon higher than a year ago.”

At the Brookhaven Murphy USA gas station, Sarah Brown of Brookhaven said she didn’t “have the words” to describe how she felt about the rising cost of gasoline.

“I honestly don’t know what to say,” she said while pumping gas into her mid-sized late-model vehicle. “I mean, it’s too high, of course. And though I hate how high it is, I mean, we are having to pay it no matter what. You have to have gas for your car, so… Yeah, but I hate it.”

Economist Stephen Moore told FOX Business’s Varney and Co. that Americans should expect $5-a-gallon gas soon due because of inflation, shortages and the country’s dependency on foreign oil.  “When you reduce the supply of something like we’re doing because we’re reducing production — we’re 2 million barrels a day less in our oil production from where we were back in 2019 — and then you have a big increase in the demand as the world economy gets better from the COVID crisis, you’re going to have spiked prices,” he said.

GasBuddy mentioned gasoline cost statistics in neighboring areas, including Baton Rouge’s average gas price at $3.11 a gallon, up 7.2 cents per gallon from last week’s $3.04; in Jackson, price per gallon was $3.09, up 9.3 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.99; and in Louisiana, gas was $3.15 a gallon, up 7.2 cents per gallon from last week’s $3.07 a gallon

Historically, gasoline prices in Mississippi and the national average going back 10 years were as follows:

• Oct. 25, 2020: $1.81 a gallon (U.S. Average: $2.14)

• Oct. 25, 2019: $2.23 a gallon (U.S. Average: $2.61)

• Oct. 25, 2018: $2.55 a gallon (U.S. Average: $2.83)

• Oct. 25, 2017: $2.19 a gallon (U.S. Average: $2.45)

• Oct. 25, 2016: $2.05 a gallon (U.S. Average: $2.22)

• Oct. 25, 2015: $1.91 a gallon (U.S. Average: $2.20)

• Oct. 25, 2014: $2.81 a gallon (U.S. Average: $3.05)

• Oct. 25, 2013: $3.11 a gallon (U.S. Average: $3.30)

• Oct. 25, 2012: $3.39 a gallon (U.S. Average: $3.59)

• Oct. 25, 2011: $3.29 a gallon (U.S. Average: $3.44)

Lauretta Sanders, who works at the Shell Cracker Barrel station on Highway 51, drove her car up to a gas pump and jumped out to start the pump.

“People have been complaining to us about the gas prices,” she said. “They are wondering if this is not the end. In fact, we just learned our gas price was going from $3.09 a gallon to $3.25 in just a few minutes, so I’m filling up before that happens. I tell you, these prices are outrageous. ”

Though consumers tend to travel most during the holiday season and worry about energy expenses, not everyone is agonizing over a hit to the pocketbook. As Tyrin Stewart of Brookhaven hopped out of his older Toyota pickup in North Brookhaven Oct. 25, he said he wasn’t worried much about rising gas prices.

“No, I’m not thinking on it,” he said, pointing to his small truck. “I can fill the tank in this thing and ride on it all week long!”

And then he laughed with glee as he walked into the store to pay his gas tab.

 

Story by Angela Cutrer.