Price shock at the gasoline pump has been affecting consumers for more than six weeks now. As of Monday, gas prices nationwide have gone up for 48 straight day. AAA Carolinas spokesman Tom Crosby says the average cost of a gallon gasoline in South Carolina is $2.46 a gallon, compared to the national average of $2.67. Crosby says the good news is that this is not 2008 when the average cost of a gallon of gasoline this time last year was $3.86 in the state. Crosby says just a week ago the cost of gasoline was seven cents less than it is now. Crosby says it is difficult to predict the market right now but a lot has to do with oil speculators worldwide.”The unknown ingredient is oil price speculation and we’re seeing that affecting the price of a barrel of oil and that’s translating to higher prices for us at the pump. They’re bidding up the price of oil in anticipation that the recession will abate and more people will get on the road this summer. Therefore by investing in a barrel of oil they are hoping to recoup their money plus some when they sell it.”
Crosby says generally speaking the tourist areas get hit the hardest with rising gasoline prices. Currently the average price in Myrtle Beach is $2.49 a gallon, compared to $2.44 in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson area.
Crosby says as we move toward the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the large number of travelers who hit the roadways should not anticipate any relief when they pull up to the pump. “Well I don’t think that if more people are going to travel the price is going to go down. I think it will go up if anything. I think there is some anticipation that we may have a lot more travel on July fourth than we have on a typical weekend. It is normally a fairly heavily traveled weekend. Children are out of school and people tend to plan to go away four or five days during that time.”