73ºF

Gas prices continue to rise

$2.31 per gallon national average, $2.26 per gallon average in Jacksonville

photo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Drivers were thrilled in recent weeks when they were able to fill up their tank for less than $2 a gallon, but sadly those days are likely over with for now.

At the beginning of this week, oil continued to remain around a seven-month low according to AAA, but the average price for a gallon of gas has increased every day for nearly a month.

Jacksonville gas prices average at $2.26 a gallon, but last month it was at $2.04 a gallon. About a year ago, gas averaged $3.43 a gallon.

Some locals said they're feeling the affects of gas prices in their wallets.

"Well, it's kinda hurting. I was feeling good in the beginning with it down, had more discretionary income, but now I have to cut down on everything," said Philip Boston.

Boston is like most of us, happy when gas prices are down, and frustrated when they start to go back up.

Right now, a barrel of oil costs around $50.

Financial planner Carolyn McClanahan said gas prices have recently been so low because of the organization of petroleum exporting countries, or OPEC, flooding the market with oil. But she saID that likely won't last long.

"People think the price of oil has something to do with consumption, but it's really price based on output and OPEC, the main oil producing countries at some point they're going to cut production which will drive prices up," said McClanahan.

The average price of a gallon of gas has increased everyday for nearly a month, according to AAA - the longest streak since last spring.

The national average yesterday hit $2.31. That's up from less than $2 many were paying a gallon just about a month ago. But on average we're still paying about $1.11 less than we were this time a year ago.

"Gas and oil prices are still so easily manipulated, I think as a country we still need to focus on energy dependence, clean energy and continue things like solar energy," said McClanahan.

"It affects everything, you know, the gas is up you have to take more out of your budget for the gas prices ," said Boston.

Unfortunately prices could go up even more in the spring when McClanahan said refineries shut down for maintenance, so prices peak because not as much oil is getting to the refineries.