Remember when? Gas prices rise, pass $4 mark

Published 6:49 pm Wednesday, June 4, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
As gasoline and diesel fuel prices continue to climb above the $4 mark, automobile drivers aren't the only ones feeling the pinch.
Greer Horton, a local distributor, says those merchants who sell fuel to consumers are facing a battle with each load of fuel delivered for sale.
Horton said if merchants are making a minimum profit on current stock, the delivery of new stock could put them in a bind overnight.
Horton said gasoline prices used to cost retailers about $8,000 per tanker load. With today's market, retailers can expect to pay between $35,000 and $40,000 for the same load, he said.
Most retailers in town are holding their prices just under the $4 mark for regular, unleaded gasoline. On Tuesday, prices were averaging $1.85 per gallon for regular, $3.97 per gallon for mid-grade and $4.09 for premium. Diesel is at an all-time high with prices in the $4.65 per gallon range.
Horton said one of the reasons for the dramatic increase in diesel fuel prices may have something to do with foreign sales.
Horton said with the lack of regulations in other countries, distributors can sell their diesel products to those areas without United States required processing.
Horton said retailers in the area are just as surprised about price increases as consumers are.
Officials with AAA said motorists shouldn't expect any relief from high fuel prices anytime soon. Catherine Rossi, manager of public and government affairs for AAA, said it takes time for prices to fluctuate in either direction.
At the pump, the national average price of a gallon of regular gas was at $3.975, according to a survey of stations by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service, matching a record set Sunday.
Continued recent declines in oil prices would remove one of the reasons gas prices are near $4 on a national basis. That fact could lead to lower prices as the summer wears on. Gasoline typically peaks in price near Memorial Day, then declines over the summer.