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High gas prices have big impact

By Staff | May 12, 2011

Gas prices hit a high this month. Residents paid up to $4.10 a gallon for regular gasoline at local pumps. (Chronicle photo by Kelly Cambrel)

As summer gets closer and the price of crude oil continues the fluctuate, local residents discuss the impact higher fuel prices have had.

“It’s killing me,” said Shepherdstown resident Ahmet Akaydin while pumping gas outside at a local station. “I travel a lot. I think it’s unacceptable.”

Akaydin explained that he’s had make certain sacrifices to afford the higher prices. He said he makes fewer trips home and budgets more tightly for groceries.

“It factors into everything,” he said.

Others are also feeling the pinch.

Conrad Hammann, who lives outside of Shepherdstown, stopped to fill up on gas with a $25 gift card he got at his local church.

Hammann has been retired from a job as an engineer for about 14 years now and said he worries about the price of gas more that he and his wife live on a fixed income.

“It pinches more when you’re living off of your social security and pension and some investments that haven’t performed as well as you hoped,” he said.

Hammann, who shares a small SUV with his wife, said he is looking into finding a car that’s just as roomy but cheaper on gas.

Though it’s been speculated over the last week that prices at the pump will fall in accordance with crude oil prices, Hammann said he’s prepared for prices to stay around $4 a gallon for a while.

“Expecting it to go back down to $2 a gallon is a dream,” he said.

Ben Ford, a Shepherdstown resident, stopped to fill up his Mazda 3. Ford said that the price of gas impacted him largely because of his commute to Hagerstown for work.

Ford explained that he had only put $12 worth of gas in during his stop at the pump because of the high cost.

“I rarely fill up,” he said.

According to assessments collected by AAA on May 9 and 10, the price of regular unleaded gas is $4.10 per gallon at the local Sheetz and 7 Eleven stations.

Terry Strock, a resident of Chambersburg, Md., stopped at the local pumps to fill up a few gas containers with diesel fuel.

Strock, who was working on a project at the National Conservation Training Center outside of Shepherdstown, said he was getting 15 gallons of diesel, though he goes about 30 gallons a week for the skid steer used to move dirt at NCTC.

“It’s impacted our company’s profit I’m sure,” he said

Strock said that when his company began the project at the end of January, diesel prices were around $3.90. Now it costs around $4.29 per gallon for fuel.

According to information provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, the average price of regular gasoline in the mid-Atlantic region is $4 per gallon.

This is a $0.018 increase from a week ago and a $1.082 increase in from average prices one year ago.

The cost of diesel fuel in the mid-Atlantic is approximately $4.25 per gallon which is a decrease of $0.021 a week, but an increase of $1.002 from the price of diesel fuel a year ago.

Information on gas and fuel prices from the Department of Energy is update on a weekly basis. More information can be found by visiting www.energy.gov.