March 15, 2006
Anyone who passes the pumps lately realizes that gas prices are once again on the rise and consumers are feeling the pinch.
"It's changed dramatically in the last year or so. It's just been overwhelming, the prices. It has an affect on doing different outings," said Alonzo Vaughn.
In fact, Jared Davis had to make drastic changes to beat the rising prices. "I actually had to buy a motorcycle to compensate for the extra gas mileage," he explained.
AAA reports that gas prices are up 11 cents in the past eight days, up to $2.29 a gallon in the Charlottesville region. That's got drivers and lawmakers alike wondering why.
Just yesterday, a Senate Committee met with top executive's from the oil industry to discuss rising prices. Tiger Fuel President David Sutton said several unexpected factors have contributed to the rise.
"We saw some constriction in supply, some increase in demand, some political concerns about long-term supply, and that has driven the price up very dramatically," Sutton said.
With the rising prices, drivers say they must now think twice about what and where they drive.
"Years ago you could just [drive] and just do things and you could go to the gas pump and be satisfied and be happy with it. Now you have to think twice," Vaughn said.
"[We're] probably not going to travel as much this year as we did last year just because of the higher gas prices," said Davis.
At this point, Sutton says he expects the market to remain volatile for a while.