Area drivers react to news of higher gasoline costs

Rachael Scarborough King
Star Staff Writer
Published: July 7, 2006

Local drivers continue to feel the pinch at the pump as gas prices jumped again Thursday.

After a 10-cent increase last week, the price of a gallon of gas rose about 5 cents at many stations throughout the region. Prices are expected to top $3 a gallon nationwide by this weekend.

While prices at local stations are currently hovering between $2.71 and $2.79 for a gallon of regular unleaded, drivers said they expect the increase to continue.

“‘Are gas prices ever going to come back down?’ I hear that a lot,” said Monica Eberts, the cashier at the Chevron at 15th and Quintard in Anniston. “I doubt we’ll ever see $2.50 again.”

“I don’t think it will ever come back down a whole lot, but I think it’s terrible that it’s $3 a gallon,” said Dorothy Wills, who was filling her car at the Exxon on McClellan Boulevard.

Wills said she noticed a price increase in a matter of hours on Thursday.

“I hate it … It was $2.71 (when I went out) and coming back every one of them has gone back up to $2.76 or $2.79,” she said.

Melissa Mosley said she’s concerned about the rise in prices, adding that she wished she had filled up her car on Wednesday.

“We have a 2-year-old, and when we have to buy gas it’s hard on buying diapers and stuff for him,” she said. Mosley added that her husband commutes from their home in Anniston to work at the Army Depot in Bynum, so they have to fill up frequently.

Eberts, the Chevron clerk, agreed that people who have to commute to work every day will face the most problems.

“The people that does work, they have to make a living so they have to fill up,” she said.

One reason for the continued increase could be the government’s standoff with Iran and North Korea over those countries’ possession of nuclear weapons. Wills said she worries about the situation because she has a daughter in the Air Force, adding that she thought it could have an effect on gas prices.

Harry Welch agreed that the problems overseas have an impact at home.

“I think it has a bearing on it,” he said. “Undoubtedly any time you’ve got a conflict like that it’s going to escalate the energy price.”

But Mosley said she thought the problem had more to do with domestic issues.

“I just think it might be the economy, everything’s going up in prices,” she said.

All of those interviewed said they are trying to cut back on gas consumption. Welch said he had taken to driving his small Honda SUV, which he was filling up Thursday, rather than his pickup.

“You just got to have a vehicle that uses less gas and don’t drive as much, (but) that’s kind of hard to do,” he said.

Wills said she, too, wants to conserve.

“I try to make less trips, think about things before you go pick them up,” Wills said. “It doesn’t take much to spend $50 on gas, and you wonder when it’s going to end.”

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