Prices at the pump jump to more than $3

Published 1:32 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
With the rising prices of gas, a simple trip to the beach, Mobile for shopping, or even driving around town may become a challenge to some individuals.
According to Roy White, vice president of Diamond Gasoline on Hwy. 21, prices have risen due to circumstances in oil refineries, along with the rising demand of gasoline and the lowering of fuel imports.
"Gas prices have gone up recently because of outages at refineries, an increase in demands and a decrease in imports from other countries," White said.
Although gas prices in Atmore may seem high, they are actually lower than the national average. The common price in Atmore for regular, unleaded gas is $3.07, whereas the national price is $3.20.
White said that this time of year is known as the season for traveling and that gas companies are anticipating the extra fuel that will be burned.
"June 1 becomes the 'driving season,'" he said. "People burn more gasoline and diesel fuel in June, July and August through Labor Day and then it declines. Big oil companies see the opportunity to make more money. There is also the anticipation of the larger demand and a lot of times the supply isn't where it should be."
Individuals must fork out the cash for gas if they want to continue going to work, but a lot of extracurricular activities, such as trips out of town, may have to be put on halt.
Area resident Pat Hetzel was found pumping gas at the BP Station on the corner of Medical Park Drive and Hwy. 31 in Atmore. She said she knows everybody has to go to work and must buy gas in order to get there but that the prices of gasoline have certainly gotten more expensive within the past few weeks.
Other residents are trying not to drive around as much in the effort of saving money.
"I am trying to be more conservative and not go out of town as much," Escambia County High School student Jordan Smith said about gas prices. "I am really scared of how things will be in a couple of months."
Ann Shenk, another area resident, said that people will have to cut out their needless driving if prices do not go back down.
"People have to go to work," Shenk said. "But, they may have to cut out their unnecessary driving."
Will the gas prices go back down any time soon? Nobody truly knows, but according to White, a decrease could perhaps occur within the next few weeks.
"It's possible that we might see prices slip down in or around Memorial Day weekend," he said. "What we've seen at the market are the prices going down. We may see prices go down before Memorial Day but there is no predicting of what will happen. A lot of people know we (Diamond Gasoline) don't control the prices, but a lot of people think we do."

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