• 77°

Atmore pump prices exceed $3 per gallon

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Gas prices continue to fluctuate, causing Atmore residents pain at the pump when they pull out their plastic or cash to pay the $3.05 per gallon for regular unleaded.
However, while Atmore's common gas price is $3.05, it could be much worse. Atmore's gas prices are even lower than the nation's average, according to www.gaspricewatch.com. The Web site states that the average gas prices in the U.S. for regular unleaded is $3.09, while the highest prices are in Needles, Calif., at $3.89 and the lowest is in Casper, Wy at $2.65.
Birmingham resident Michael Johnson was caught pumping gas at the BP Station located on South Main Street in Atmore. Johnson said he was caught by surprise when he stopped to fill up.
"Gas prices in Birmingham are high, but not this high," Johnson said. "Gas there runs about $2.87 to $2.97."
According to www.alabamagasprices.com, gas prices have steadily risen since 2002. On April 19, 2002, the average gas price for the state of Alabama for regular gas was approximately $1.17. That price kept increasing and hit a high on Aug. 26, 2005 at $3.07. The number has fluctuated from $2 to more than $3 since 2005.
With the gas prices continuing to rise, area residents may or may not think twice before loading their kids into their SUVs for a trip to the mall or an out-of-town movie, Johnson Ford sales manager Jesse Taylor said when asked if gas prices affect what kind of vehicles people look to purchase at the car dealership.
"The way I look at it is people are going to pay," Taylor said. "They may have to drive less, but people aren't going to quit buying SUVs. They've got to still be able to carry their families around. And, unless a subcompact vehicle can meet your family's needs, you've got to buy something big. It's (gas prices) affected it, but not like you would think."
Johnson Ford owner Jim Johnson said people will still look into purchasing SUVs, but will go with the one that has better gas mileage, especially when gas spikes 15 to 20 cents.
"They've definitely got gas on their minds," he said.
Representatives with Diamond Oil were not available for comment at press time.