February 18, 2013
The average price of a gallon of gas in Charlottesville reached $3.60 on Monday. That is a record high for this time of year.
Experts say the price of gas is going up because crude oil supplies have been restricted by OPEC. But that is not the only factor.
With the improving economy, more people are getting back to work and more industries are using more fuel. That has caused speculators to drive up the price of crude oil, because they anticipate a higher demand for it as the economy continues to improve.
Drivers have certainly noticed the spike in Charlottesville.
"It's kind of a bummer," said Dylan Jacobs, a UVa student. "Thirty cents within the last two weeks or something like that. It's crazy. Every day I've got to go back and fill up my gas tank and it's kind of hard on us. Hopefully it will go back down."
Charlottesville is just below the Virginia average of $3.61 a gallon and the national average of $3.73 a gallon.
Just a few days ago, on Friday, Feb. 15, the average price of a gallon of gas in the city was $3.44. A month ago, it was $3.19.
Experts say they expect gas prices to continue going up until April, then drop down in time for the summer driving season.