Gas keeps rising; Troy prices in line

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Staff Writer

As people begin planning summer vacations, prices at the pump are likely to drive them around the bend.

Gas prices have hit record highs. They have even reached the $2 per gallon mark in Chicago and California and some are saying it may increase even more.

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Prices are not that high here, but Carola Jeter of Jeter Oil Company has heard the price could reach the $2-a-gallon mark.

"We saw it go up 6 cents at one time," Jeter said. "It’s anybodys guess what will happen."

The lowest price to be found in Troy is $1.33 a gallon. Other service stations here are around $1.50 per gallon.

The price isn’t much different around the area.

In Dothan, gas costs between $1.53 and $1.73 per gallon. Higher-priced fuel in Greenville is $1.75 per gallon and Montgomery drivers are paying an average of $1.73 per gallon to fill up their vehicles.

The Federal Trade Commission has reported the increases are because of tight supplies.

"The demand is making it higher," Jeter said of the gasoline prices.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is likely to increase production quotas by the end of the year, maybe enough to eliminate the 2.5 million-barrel-a-day cut it made earlier this year.

But, that’s little comfort to commuters and vacationers.

Gas prices in the United States have reached an all-time high in the past two weeks. The average price covering all grades of gasoline went from 8.58 cents to $1.76 per gallon as of May 4. If inflation is factored in, that comes to a dollar less than the average cost of gasoline in March 1981.

Despite calls for President George W. Bush to repeal or cut the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal gas tax, White House officials are standing firm and have said nothing will be done even if prices soar to $3 and beyond.

Refineries are being pushed to the limit, trying to keep up with the demand. That and several breakdowns in old refineries have caused plenty of problems for distributors in the United States.