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June 28, 2013

NASH: The price we pay for gas


At the time, many of the other stations that I pass by on a daily basis had raised there prices to about $3.69, which is the highest that I had seen it within the city limits lately. 

WDRB-TV posted a report on June 6 where they sent a news crew up Interstate 65 where they found gas for $4.25 in Scottsburg. The following weekend, the family and I took a road trip to Lafayette for the high school graduation of one of my nephews.

I discovered most of the gas prices north of Southern Indiana all to be more than $4 — the highest price being around $4.29. I was able to find the best price we saw all day just off of the Seymour/North Vernon Exit for $3.89. When I went to fill up there, I got just enough to get home, hoping that the Swifty price had not gone up while we were gone. To this day, that price has not changed.

It has always amazed me how the price of gas can just change from day to day. In nearly every other retail purchase, most prices never change that frequently or that drastically. In recent months, the price of gas has jumped up to 60 cents in one day. Of course, everyone complains that it will jump 60 cents overnight, but it only comes down in penny increments.

Gas prices are said to be driven by the price of crude oil, cost of refining, distribution and marketing cost and the taxes that we pay on our gas. Crude-oil prices are affected by the supply and demand of oil and the value of the American dollar. Speculation in the commodities market can also drive up the price of oil and consequently the price of a gallon of gasoline.

Gas prices have gone up considerably over the last decade. According to the website, the price of gas in June 2003 was hovering around the $1.50 per gallon mark. The $3 barrier was broken in 2006 and the price spiked in the summer of 2008. As the American economy was on the brink of collapse, it went to more than $4 a gallon for the first time. The price plunged in the winter of 2009 to less than $2 briefly and then grew to over $3, where it has remained fairly constant. 

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