Price of Gas Going Up

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - "The gas done went back up, so high now," exclaims one driver.

And she's right, prices are up, and once again consumers say they're pinched.

According to AAA South, the average for a gallon of regular unleaded in Georgia was $1.90 a week ago, now, it's $2.10.  That's a $.20 spike!

A difference drivers say they can't help but notice.

"I'm a little concerned, especially with us being in a recession, I have to be able to get to work, I'm hoping somehow, they'll go back down," says driver Natylie Leonard.

That's the question on many folks minds, so we take it to AAA Travel Manager Roxanne Towler.

She says the current increase is normal for this time of year.  First, because refineries are switching from winter to summer fuel.

"When they do that, then they have to drain the tanks and they realize they may have to go back in and do some repair work," explains Towler.

Which could cause a slowdown, but as of now, experts say fuel supply is still stable.

However, more additives are used in summer fuel which often means higher prices for consumers.

At the same time Towler says, "Demand goes up for the summer, it's getting closer to Memorial Day and the start of the summer travel season."

In addition, crude oil was over $58 a barrel late last week, the highest so far this year.

And to put it all into perspective, gas may be up $.20 from a week ago, but it's down a $1.55 from the same time last year.

Overall, AAA experts say they don't expect "huge" spikes this summer, but they say anything is possible.

Some analysts are predicting further increases as reports surface about the economy getting better, and demand for fuel increases in the future.