Fort Mill Times

Gas prices slowly rising - again

Gas prices on Gold Hill Road, Hwy. 160 West and Spratt Street are slowly, creeping up again.

Prices at one of the filling stations were as low as $1.41 a gallon for regular late last week, but another station's prices were as high as $1.64 a gallon for regular gas. Customers and workers are enjoying the low prices for a few reasons, but they know it won't last.

"I like low gas prices because it makes it easier for those who have big cars," said Amy, a gas station manager, who asked that her last name not be published because she's not authorized to speak on behalf of the company.

"It [low gas prices] will probably last a couple of months, but prices are starting to go back up."

Rick, another manager, said he feels good about low gas prices and that they never should have skyrocketed to near the $4 a gallon range like they did earlier this year. Drivers agree.

"Low gas prices are nice for Christmas," said Lisa Szabo, a Fort Mill resident. "It used to cost $60 to fill up, but [today] it's $26.

On the flip side, gas prices are slowly rising again and people are wondering how high they'll go.

"We have no say over the price of gas because we are at the mercy of corporate [petroleum]," Rick said. "Customers act like it's our fault when gas goes up."

Sherri said customers are not ugly when gas prices are high, but they do make comments.

Mitch Carpenter, a Fort Mill resident, said gas will rise once the economy gets better. He thinks the economy will be better in about a year and gas will rise to $3 a gallon again.

"Lower gas prices helped out a lot of people who are struggling, but people are still cautious," said Janice, a gas station manager. "It's hard to say if it [gas] will go above $3 again because I did not expect it to go over $4 or be as low as it is now."

The national average for a gallon of regular gas was $1.67 a gallon as of Thursday, Dec. 18, and South Carolina's was $1.55, according to AAA.

Tom Crosby, a spokesman for AAA Carolina, has some helpful tips for those at the pump.

"I think we will see gas prices rise, so we need to take advantage of gas prices when they are low, " Crosby said. "[Customers] should patronize the gas stations with the lowest prices because this can force higher priced gas stations to lower their prices."

Crosby said because OPEC will be cutting production, the demand will go up, the supply will diminish and the price will go up.