Top Stories

Gas prices on rise, expected to continue increasing

HOULTON, Maine — For more than a year, Jason McNulty of Houlton has been saving up with his entire family for a trip to Disney World in Florida this June. While he and his wife work, their three children, ages 4 through 7, have been doing small chores for their relatives to earn spending money for the trip. They had planned to drive the entire route themselves, but are now rethinking their options.

That is because gas prices have jumped an average of 21 percent nationwide in the last year, with drivers in nine state already paying $3 a gallon for regular gasoline, according to money.cnn.com.

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline touched $2.83 a gallon on May 9, up 17 cents the past month and 49 cents the past year, reports USA Today.

“Gas has spiked in recent weeks due mainly to increasing oil prices as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries maintains strict production limits despite global economic growth,” USA Today states.

Following the president’s decision to re-impose sanctions on oil-producing Iran prices at the pump could continue to rise during the summer driving season.

“When we heard [about gas prices], my wife immediately asked if we should look into flying,” he said Wednesday. “But I don’t know if we would be able to afford to do that and still see all of the things that we had planned to see while we are in Florida. The kids would like to go to several parks, and since it will be awhile before we’ll be able to get there again, we would like to make them as happy as possible.”

Average retail gasoline prices in Maine have risen 0.5 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.81 per gallon on May 6, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 1,228 gas outlets in Maine. That compares with the national average that had fallen 0.9 cents per gallon in the same week to $2.80 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.

Gasoline prices on May 7 each year over the last five years in Maine have varied widely, according to that website: $2.34 per gallon in 2017, $2.30 per gallon in 2016, $2.64 per gallon in 2015, $3.72 per gallon in 2014 and $3.50 per gallon in 2013.

Kathy Lamont of Presque Isle said Wednesday that she has plans to drive to South Carolina for a family reunion this summer, something that she said she still plans to do. She said that she would have to watch the price at the pumps, however, to see just what sort of transportation she will take.

“Ordinally, I would drive my husband’s larger truck, because everyone else out there seems to have a larger vehicle,” she said. “But if gas prices are going to be high, I think that it would be better to take my little Datsun that is easy on gas.”

Both McNulty and Lamont said they hoped that the price increase was only temporary.

“I hope that it is not like a few years ago when this doesn’t creep into the winter and impact the winter heating season,” said McNulty.

For LIVE fuel price averages, visit http://FuelInsights.GasBuddy.com.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.