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Mid-February gasoline prices hit historic high, may reach $4.25 by April

Published: Sun, February 19, 2012 @ 12:51 p.m.

Mid-February gasoline prices hit historic high, may reach $4.25 by April

NEW YORK (AP) — Gasoline prices have never been higher this time of the year.

At $3.53 a gallon, prices are already up 25 cents since Jan. 1. And experts say they could reach a record $4.25 a gallon by late April.

“You’re going to see a lot more staycations this year,” says Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “When the price gets anywhere near $4, you really see people react.”

Already, W. Howard Coudle, a retired machinist from Crestwood, Mo., has seen his monthly gasoline bill rise to $80 from about $60 in December. The closest service station is selling regular for $3.39 per gallon, the highest he’s ever seen.

“I guess we’re going to have to drive less, consolidate all our errands into one trip,” Coudle says. “It’s just oppressive.”

The surge in gas prices follows an increase in the price of oil.

Oil around the world is priced differently. Brent crude from the North Sea is a proxy for the foreign oil that’s imported by U.S. refineries and turned into gasoline and other fuels. Its price has risen 11 percent so far this year, to around $119 a barrel, because of tensions with Iran, a cold snap in Europe and rising demand from developing nations. West Texas Intermediate, used to price oil produced in the U.S., is up 4 percent to around $103 a barrel. That’s 19 percent higher than a year earlier.

Higher gas prices could hurt consumer spending and curtail the recent improvement in the U.S. economy.

A 25-cent jump in gasoline prices, if sustained over a year, would cost the economy about $35 billion. That’s only 0.2 percent of the total U.S. economy, but economists say it’s a meaningful amount, especially at a time when growth is only so-so. The economy grew 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter, a rate considered modest following a recession.


1Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

seems the only thing to do is export more gasoline and create a bigger shortage here and collect all the tax breaks

Everyone make sure you re-elect everyone in office so we can keep this wagon rolling we would hate to have big oil go broke.

Next is the double electric bills coming in the next year or two after the plant closings

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2Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Of course just outlaw cars and do what again?? Just let fearless leader take care of us ? That has to be the stupidest comment i have ever read

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3redeye1(5615 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Our fearless and spineless leader has us right where he wants us.This is just one of his great changes for america that the fools voted for I can't wait to see what other great changes he has planned for us. And one other thing STOP go blow smoke out your arse. somewhere else . You are probably a lowlife who lives off the Gov't because of your asinine ideas.

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4AtownAugie(884 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

@stop -- Pump prices up almost double since your guy took office? Oh, that's right: it's all Bush's fault. (If only Cheney were still in office so you could blame him, cuz in no way can it be on BHO's shoulders.)

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5Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

just out of curiosity what type of public transportation do you propose to cover 2959064.44 square miles ?? Or do we have the government move us all next to transportation areas? close all the farms and rural areas that are not near transportation? they closed four electric plants so electricity isnt going to be an option for alternate transportation.

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6bmanresident(607 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

@ STOP, you are a freakin MORON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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7Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

when oil isnt high it is the supply and demand reason for raising gas prices. when that doesnt work its cold in some part of the world and that drives up gas prices because of the demand for heating oil. there is also the we are changing to summer/winter gasoline so supply is interrupted then we have the close a plant for unexpected maintainance then they shut down refineries and our top export is gasoline but Im sure that has nothing to do with it. They are exporting oil to other countries and creating a shortage here in the US while we give them tax breaks? Also an alternative energy source wouldnt work unless it was a direct replacement for gasoline. If we had electric car the first problem would be initial cost. I can't afford to replace my cars with electric ones. The price for a "useable" electric for is probably 2-5 time what they are now. Then I am willing to bet electric prices would go through the roof because of supply and demand. With four plants closing it isnt feasable either. Solar power? not for many generations to go. Diesel? it can run on corn oil and other types of domestic oils then we starve the world and drive up food prices.

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