at the pump: Gas prices rising
Conventional wisdom states that there are two
certainties in life: death and taxes. Week after
week, however, area consumers have come to expect
another certainty an increase in prices
at the pump.
Gas prices have continued to rise steadily in
recent months in the Kansas City area. In Platte
City alone, the average price of regular unleaded
gasoline has skyrocketed to $1.76 per gallon
a hike of 20 percent compared to prices of a year
There is no good news for the consumer
relative to the price of gas, said Mike
Wright, vice president of public affairs for AAA
Missouri. Wright said that crude oil prices by
the barrel are 50 percent higher then they were
last year and that wholesale gas prices have climbed
to over $1.20, to which you add state and
federal taxes plus shipping.
Wright also commented on other factors affecting
the price of gasoline. Refinery operations are
severely lacking in America, making it necessary
to rely on outside sources for the majority of
our consumption needs. With America at war, the
problems are exacerbated.
Some of the places where we depend on are
not that stable. Anytime you see an upset or any
sort of anxiety on the part of the buyers you
will see those prices go up, Wright explained.
Ive never seen the prices of crude
oil remain this high for this long and that doesnt
bode well for us.
And Wright, who has spent more than 30 years
analyzing such trends, says prices will continue
to rise and he speculated that the Kansas City
area will break their all-time high of $1.79 a
gallon, which the city set in the year 2000.
Youll break that, Wright predicted.
St. Louis just broke their all time high
states have. The national average is $1.82, and
everyday is a new record.
Despite the near weekly increases, Wright said
that he has received surprisingly little
feedback from AAA members.
When you dont have gasoline, youre
willing to spend anything you can to get it. Were
a gasoline-dependent society.
AAA Missouri offers the following tips for drivers
wanting to conserve fuel:
·If you own more than one car - especially
if one of your vehicles is a less fuel-efficient
truck, SUV or van - use the more energy-conserving
vehicle as often as possible.
·Consolidate trips and errands to cut
down on driving time and keep needless miles off
·Find one location where you can take
care of all banking, grocery shopping and other
chores. Comparison shop by phone,
online or through newspaper advertisements.
·Slow down. The faster a vehicle travels,
the more gas it burns. Driving faster than posted
speed limits is dangerous and increases stress.
Leave enough time to reach your destination at
a proper speed.
·Avoid quick starts and sudden stops.
This wastes fuel, is harder on vehicle components
and increases the odds of a traffic crash.
·Routinely maintain your vehicle. Keeping
tires inflated, moving components properly lubricated
and ignition and emission systems operating properly
will help your vehicle achieve maximum fuel economy
and extend its useful life.
·Lighten the load. Dont haul extra
weight in the passenger compartment, trunk or
cargo area of your vehicle. A heavier vehicle
uses more gasoline.
·Check your vehicle owners manual.
If your vehicle does not require premium or mid-grade
fuel, purchase less expensive regular unleaded
·Shop for low gasoline prices locally,
but dont waste gas driving to a distant
filling station to save a few cents.