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Soaring gas prices cracking Easter travel plans

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- With many folks getting the day off for Good Friday, this holiday weekend is usually a big one for highway travel. But with gas prices nearing $4 per gallon, many folks have altered their travel plans.

"I honestly can't stand the high prices," Joy Johnston said today in Calabash. "It takes my whole entire paycheck just to get from home to and from work. It's ridiculous, and they are going up every single day."

Johnston says she's happy she's close to family this Easter.

We spoke with lots of folks at the pumps today, many of whom were locals, a sign perhaps that high prices are keeping people off the roads.

While gas prices in North Carolina are inching ever closer to that dreaded $4 mark, just minutes across the border in South Carolina, prices are about ten cents cheaper. The extra taxes we face in the Tar Heel State are forcing business out.

"Every time I get my paycheck, I go straight up across the line," Johnston said.

Driver Benjamin Duncan agreed.

"That's what I normally do. I usually either go to Loris from where I live, or I go right here to Little River," he said.

Economists suggest prices won't stop here and could be near $4.25 by summer.

"The fuel is tacked on to the cost of everything, so the cost of everything is going up," traveler Janine Oaster said.

Duncan said, "I don't go out like I used to. I kind of have to stay at home, and I have to live cheaper because of the gas prices."

"You buy groceries, and that takes all your money. Gas takes all your money," Johnston said. "You really just try to sit at home and watch TV half the time. There's not much you can do as far as going out on the weekends. It really cramps everybody's style."

The average price of gas in North Carolina is about $3.90. That's about a quarter higher than a year ago, and about a dollar more than this same time in 2010.

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I think the funniest posts on this thread....

...are the ones trying to claim that George Bush is responsible for our current high gas prices. My God, even the White House hasn't reached for that one!

Perhaps I'm missing something here, because while I've studied Economics in depth, I never studied whako, nutso, bizzaro-world Economics.

Now, keep in mind that I've never been a fan of George Bush because of his insane spending and total incompetence as commander-in-chief. So if you want to make charges that he destroyed the nation's economy, I won't even waste time trying to point out that you're wrong, and the crash of 2008 had been building for many, many years. You can bad-mouth George Bush all you want to.

But if you truly believe he destroyed our economy, how in the world would a severe recession, high unemployment, and the accompanying reduced fuel usage lead to higher fuel prices?

When Bush left office, gasoline was under $2.00 gallon. The price has almost doubled since that time.

Please, Bush-blamers, tell us how George Bush is impacting fuel prices over three years after he left office!

Now, while this is certainly not the sole cause, and is actually only a tangential cause with some negative impact, also answer if you think Obama cancelling, recinding, and delaying approval on Gulf Coast leases to the tune of cutting several hundred thousand barrels of production each day might have some effect on prices.

You folks MUST stop allowing your politics to override your brains.

I recommend that all of you....

...take the time to obtain an annual report from any of the major integrated oil companies; foreign or domestic, it doesn't matter. If you don't own stock in the company, simply contact them and they'll send one. They print a few thousand extra every year.

Then, take the time to see how much oil companies make on gasoline sales, and you will be amazed. Rarely does it rise above 7% of earnings.

They make their money on oil sales. They make an incredible amount of money on oil sales. They pay an amazing amount of taxes and royalties on oil sales.

If you follow the market, you will note that Marathon just split their E&P and R&M into two separate companies last year. Conoco-Phillips is preparing to do the same thing. Exxon-Mobil no longer owns any of their gas stations and wouldn't mind getting out of the gasoline business entirely.

That trend is going to continue because of practical, political, and financial reasons, and while I don't see it causing major increases in the price of gasoline, it will not lend itself to any declines in price. Cheap gasoline is gone and it's not coming back.

So keep these in mind:

1. The price of oil is set by the global marketplace and major markets in London, Hong Kong, Chicago, Sydney, etc. The oil companies do not set the price of oil.

2. If you bid $100 on a barrel of oil and some guy in Shanghai bids $105, the oil is going to Shanghai.

3. Instead of building refineries, we are shutting them down because the old ones are losing money. Make it easier to build refineries or it will get worse.

4. Refineries require routine shutdowns for cleanout and making changes to the refining configuration for government mandated seasonal blends. By law, the various companies that refine oil cannot coordinate their shut-down schedules. Get a few doing a cleanout at the same time and the unstoppable law of supply and demand rears its head.

5. The strategic oil reserve is just that - a STRATEGIC reserve, for use in times of national emergency. It's not there to release oil because the price of gasoline is cutting into your beer money. As much as I despise Obama, I applaud him for not releasing oil out of the SPR.

6. That said, his policies and attitude toward the petroleum industry are contributing substantially to the world markets getting quite comfortable with $100 oil.

Common

you hit it right on the head. Sadly too few will take the time to read your comments; and likely too few would understand what you are saying.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, I found gasoline prices higher in Virginia than in NC when I was there over Easter. And not by just a few cents.

I paid $4.05 a gallon for regular in Fredericksburg. Got back to the area and paid $3.86 a gallon in Holly Ridge.

So those who want to lay all of the blame on NC, better take the time to read your comments and accept reality.

Pretty

Bad that in SC gas is 3.59 And 3.89 in nc. And they have no income taxes. NC is a tax pit.

s.c.

SC state tax is 7% on all income over $13,700..... hello! If you make less it goes down a percentage to 0% if you make $2k.

NC... If your income range is between $0 and $12,750, your tax rate on every dollar of income earned is 6%.
If your income range is between $12,751 and $60,000, your tax rate on every dollar of income earned is 7%.
If your income range is $60,001 and over, your tax rate on every dollar of income earned is 7.75%.

BTW SC's roads are deplorable.

deplorable roads

you must not drive around here to make a statement like that. That extra tax at the pump sure makes our roads much better.

Put Obama in a Chevy volt

Put Obama in a Chevy volt with wind turbines on top, solar panels on the rear and a quart of Algae. Then send him back to Chicago. A sure cure for the high prices.

president obama in a chevy

Oil prices over the years have always been on the rise one month its one price the next month its something else my problem we are quick to blame the president for the high price of gas but explain to me how he rise the gas prices in the seventys or five years ago you know when i was in the military i always heard even if you didn't repect the person in the uniform you repected the uniform and its president obama just like its president bush or president clinton whats the diffence.

The difference is

Neither Obummer or "I don't know that woman" Clinton served in the military. Neither one of them respect the armed forces and shouldn't be allowed to be in charge of them. Meanwhile both father and son Bush served in the military.

The Lies we are fed!!!!

I have a question that I need answered. What is the reason for high fuel prices? I don't mean who "you" think is responsible but, reasons like import taxes or oil prices.
Because what I want to know is, if foreign oil prices are to blame, then why are Hess , Murphy and Marathon just as expensive? Shouldn't the U.S. Gas companies set the standard for prices in the U.S. not the other way around?

Doesn't Work That Way

Unfortunately, we are in a "global market" where prices are set by supply and demand of the world market. Cut the supply back and you get more for your oil. Understand that there all sorts of excuses being made to why we are not flooding the market with American oil. The real reason why is the owners of the oil fields. Do you think for one minute they give a rats hind end about what you and I pay for gas? They would love to get $150, $200 plus a barrel. We the people refuse to align politically to install a Nationalist government, so we are stuck on this pendulum that swings back and forth from left to right only obtain the same results from both parties. Your only hope is to obtain a vehicle that gets great gas mileage because this problem is here to stay.

One reason that comes to

One reason that comes to mind is that we as Americans PAY THEIR PRICES. We complain among ourselves, but take absolutely no other action. Why are we not raising H&ll in the streets like when Trayvon Martin was killed or calling our national leaders 24/7? We take anything others dish out and deserve every bit of it for doing nothing.

Price

Government ought to look into price fixing ?

Thanks to Nobama and

Thanks to Nobama and Congress along with our own NC Reps.

To much Zzzzz ...

... and not enough research. The President (not just the current one) has almost zero influence on fuel prices. As to our highly esteemed members of congress, their inability to accomplish even the simplest of tasks most certainly also extends to their inability to influence fuel prices as well.

Bush had a lot more to do

Bush had a lot more to do with high gas prices. Obama just inherited the Repub's mess and has gotten blemed for it.

I Agree!!! People should

I Agree!!! People should stop blaming Obama for everything that is going on in this country. He walked into a HUGE mess...Think About It!!!

Obama is ruining this country!

Look at what he's done to the national debt! Look at his energy policies. Observe his foreign policies. Look at how he forced an unwanted healthcare system onto the taxpayers, while the one's that don't pay get it free.

Obama is the only leader of this country to ever kneel down and kiss the ring of a Saudi king and denounce the country he supposedly leads by calling America "arrogant".

This country simply cannot afford another four years of a muslim traitor! I think the 1st time minority voters and the Hispanics have learned a hard lesson here! November can't get here soon enough!

ruining our country

what lesson minorities have always had to go throgh the back door if all of this wasn't affecting the middle class would we hear so much crying.

God forbid

Yeah God forbid we blame our leader. You're a sheep and an idiot....thnk About It!!!

Really? After three years...

After three years you still assume it is Bush's fault? Don't be an idiot. Obama didn't inherit anything, he begged for the job, spent millions to get it, said he would fix the problems, and failed. And now you want to lay it on Bush's shoulders. Ever heard the term, "The buck stops here'? We need a leader who will take responsiblility for his own actions, not one who blames it on everyone else. Where I come from we call that a man. By the way what the hell is BLEMED? Do you BLAME Bush for not being able to spell?

blame bush

if you list to the rep.they want to blame the president for were we are an they had a hand in this also you can't tell me they didn't back presidnt bush when he was in office and if you list to the president before he was elected he stated that it would take at least 12 years to get back to were we use to be.we know the real reason why you feel the way you do just because he is not republican.People make mistake while typing i quess you don't?

Thanks for clearing that one

Thanks for clearing that one up. These people are the reason why our country is in the shape it is in.

ZZZ

You must be asleep if you think the president controls gas prices. If that were the truth it would be $1.00 a gallon, don't you think?

You must be a supporter of

You must be a supporter of Nobama. Gas has gone from 1.89 to 3.89 since he has been in office and he could step in and release some of the reserves. So you wake up!

supporter

who is nobama you mean president obama.You really thing the republicans would not fight against this if it would help lower the prices wake up.Riddle me this if anyone person is responsible for the high gas prices why its it the same price across the board Batman.

No brainer...

No. The government (State and Federal) tax on gas in NC is over $.50 a gallon so gas would have to be produced and distributed at about $.50 a gallon. Or 8x less than a gallon of milk currently. Anyway, it's not the President. It's the energy Secretary the President appointed whose sated goal is to raise gasoline prices in this Country to the levels of gasoline prices in Europe. We are on our way... gobama

fuel prices

GuestZz....Oil prices are set on a global marketplace, our President has nothing to do with it. Try a little research into the subject.

Sure he does. You can't remember?

One of the annointed ones biggest campaign promises: "I promise that if I'm elected, I'll eliminate Americas dependence on Foreign Oil!" It's called "drilling, drilling and more drilling and tapping into of Americas resources. It means construct more refineries for processing. It means maximizing the use of LNG. Obama NEVER took the first major step. In fact he stymied everything that was attempted.

How easily we forget!

I realize that, and if you

I realize that, and if you have a brain you would know that he could release some of the reserves,but does not want to. He wants to make the US less dependent on gas and find other means which I agree. This cannot be done in four years smart©$$.