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$3.15 and counting: Locals feeling pinch as fuel costs rise

 

Lisa Frierson pumps gas at the Chevron on Main Street in downtown Columbus on Wednesday. A gallon of regular gas cost $3.17 at the station Wednesday afternoon.

Lisa Frierson pumps gas at the Chevron on Main Street in downtown Columbus on Wednesday. A gallon of regular gas cost $3.17 at the station Wednesday afternoon. Photo by: Kelly Tippett  Buy this photo.

 

Mississippi State University student Anna Pung, of Huntsville, Ala., pumps gas Wednesday afternoon in Starkville.

 

 

Tim Pratt

 

 

As turmoil in the Middle East continues, gas prices are increasing across the nation, and the Golden Triangle is no exception.  

 

According to gasbuddy.com, the average price of gasoline in Columbus was $3.15 per gallon as of this morning. The cheapest gas cost $3.11 per gallon and was located at the Columbus Air Force Base Shoppette and Army Air Force Exchange Service. The most expensive gas in the Columbus area was $3.19 per gallon at Texaco at 65 Industrial Park Road and Airport Road, adjacent to Golden Triangle Regional Airport, gasbuddy.com reported.  

 

Starkville''s average was $3.14 per gallon, with the cheapest fuel costing $3.12 per gallon at the Spirit gas station at Highway 12 and Stark Road. The most expensive gas in Starkville, as of this morning, was $3.19 per gallon at Murphy USA, near the Highway 12 and Highway 25 interchange.  

 

Some Golden Triangle residents are taking significant measures to help offset the rising fuel prices. 

 

Starkville''s Calvin Patterson works in the tree business and, until recently, drove a Ford F-150 while on the job. As gas prices began to rise, however, Patterson realized he was spending too much money on fuel.  

 

Now, Patterson rents a much more fuel efficient Dodge Caliber, which he drives around town when he appraises projects. He still uses his truck when he''s trimming and removing trees, but the rental car is saving him money on a daily basis, he said. 

 

"I was spending $20 or $30 a day on gas," Patterson said Wednesday as he filled up his rental at a BP at Russell Street and Gillespie Street. "It was killing me. Now, I spend $6 and it''s enough (gas) to last me all day." 

 

Many other Starkville residents also are feeling the pinch at the pump, including Andrew Hines Sr., who gives friends and family rides to and from work every day. Hines was filling up at the BP station at Highway 182 and North Montgomery Street Wednesday afternoon and said he''s worried about the recent spike in prices.  

 

"At $3 a gallon, this ain''t going to make it," Hines said. "This ain''t going to do, man. We''ve got to do better." 

 

John Macon was at the BP at Highway 182 and North Montgomery, as well, and said he too is unhappy with the recent price increases.  

 

"It''s too high," Macon said, "but I guess I''m just going to have to bear it." 

 

Still, others said they haven''t been affected by the rising fuel prices.  

 

Mississippi State University student Anna Pung, of Huntsville, Ala., was filling up at the Shell station at Highway 12 and Jackson Street Wednesday and said she tries to drive as little as possible.  

 

"It hasn''t really hit me yet," Pung said.  

 

The average price for gas in Mississippi was $3.10 per gallon as of Thursday morning, while the national average was $3.24. The price of crude was $94.60 per barrel.  

 

Some analysts are expecting the price of gas to increase to more than $4 per gallon this summer.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment commonsenseincolumbus commented at 2/24/2011 2:36:00 PM:

I don't understand how this stuff in the Middle East can have such an affect on gas prices at the pump. The refineries have not even yet purchased the higher crude!

 

Article Comment kj commented at 2/24/2011 3:34:00 PM:

RIght, well, see what they do is raise the pump prices NOW to reflect the future cost of oil, then when oil prices drop, they keep the price high until the future cheaper oil is at the pumps. That way we're never in danger of paying too little for a commodity.

 

Article Comment hope commented at 2/25/2011 11:21:00 AM:

When the oil companies report their earnings for this quarter, that will be part of the answer. Then we have to pay for the speculators, the traders, who jack the price up artficially. Because our economy depends so heavily on the price of oil, we should not let it be traded as a commodity.

 

Article Comment observer2 commented at 2/25/2011 2:47:00 PM:

more remedial for hope is needed. when you fill your tank with gas, more of the money goes to obama's slush fund than to the oil companies you refer to, who ever that may be. It's all obama's fault you know. He claims the buck stops at his desk? Yeah, like a fish! He's still pointing fingers and asking you to reelect him for a second term saying he'll keep trying to spend us out of debt#!$%#^$#&

 

Article Comment hope commented at 2/25/2011 7:09:00 PM:

@observer2:When you sober-up, try making a comment that makes sense.
That sounds like something Beck and FAUX would blast the air waves with.

 

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