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CSRA drivers feel the pinch as oil prices reach 7-year high

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 11:40 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga - At a time of year that usually sees gas prices decline, drivers are feeling a pinch in their wallets they haven’t felt for years.

The national average price of gasoline has risen 5.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.25 a gallon Monday.

Georgia gas prices have risen 7.7 cents per gallon in the past week to $3.02 a gallon, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 5,883 stations in Georgia.

In South Carolina, gas is also averaging $3.02 per gallon Monday, up a dime from $2.92 a week ago and $1.94 a year ago, according to AAA.

Although gas prices in Augusta have risen 6.7 cents per gallon over the past week, drivers here are getting a better price than the rest of the Peach State — $2.99 per gallon. Across the river in South Carolina, Monday’s average in Aiken and Edgefield counties is $2.97 per gallon, AAA reports.

The cheapest station in Georgia is priced at $2.74 a gallon Monday, while the most expensive is $3.40 a gallon, a difference of 66 cents per gallon.

According to GasBuddy, the cheapest station in South Carolina is priced at $2.74 per gallon, while the most expensive station is cited at $3.63 per gallon Monday.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said the increase in gas prices comes as the cost of crude oil increases and demand goes up in Europe, where refineries are switching from burning gas to oil-based fuels.

Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy’s chief of petroleum analysis, said last week saw oil prices advance to their highest in seven years.

“The nation’s gas prices were also pushed to their highest since 2014, all on OPEC’s decision not to raise production more than it already agreed to in July,” a decision that caused an immediate reaction in oil prices, De Haan said.

“Amidst what is turning into a global energy crunch, motorists are now spending over $400 million more on gasoline every single day than they were just a year ago,” he said.

“If Americans can’t slow their appetite for fuels, we’ve got no place for prices to go but up,” he said.

Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas is in the San Francisco Bay Area, at $4.55 per gallon. The lowest average is in Houston, at $2.77 per gallon.

The average price of diesel jumped 11 cents to $3.45 a gallon.

From reports by WALB, WCSC, WRDW/WAGT and CNN