Customers are feeling more than a pinch at the pumps these days with gasoline prices in Guernsey County ranging from $3.89 to $4.19 Thursday for a gallon of regular gas.
Experts blame high prices on supply and demand.
The demand for gasoline is on the rise and supplies are impacted by the war in Ukraine creating issues for both sides of the equation.
With no end in sight to the war in Ukraine and the Biden Administration banning imports of Russian oil, costs could rise higher still, according to a recent report in the Columbus Dispatch.
“It’s crazy,” said Jason Thomas after paying more than $50 for a half-tank of gas at a downtown station in Cambridge. “It’s not fair to the people here that prices have rapidly increased in the United State after Russia started a war by invading Ukraine.
“It pales in comparison to what the people in those countries are facing, but you would think our government could do something to help us too.”
The $4.19 being charged at the Sunoco on Glenn Highway on the western edge of the city exceeds the $4.11 per gallon national average set in July 2008, according to the statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Gasoline prices nationwide nearly reached $4 again in May 2011 when the per gallon cost reached $3.96.
Prices fell below $2 in May 2020 with a low average of $1.96 at stations nationwide. It did not cross the $3 threshold again until May of the next year at $3.07.
The price for a gallon of gasoline a year ago in February was $2.58.
“I do not like the high gas prices,” said Guernsey County resident Michele Long. “But, do I have a choice…no! I have to buy it.”
The American Automobile Association reported the national average for gas Thursday at $4.28, down from $4.30 on Wednesday and $4.31 a week ago.
AAA reports the average for diesel fuel Thursday was $5.08 per gallon, also down from Wednesday at $5.104 but up slightly from $5.05 a week ago.
In Guernsey County on Thursday, diesel prices ranged from $4.87 in Byesville to $5.15 at all three stations in Old Washington.
For many people, it’s a little early to determine what impact the increase will have on household budgets and future plans, such as vacations and other out-of-town trips, but it remains an uncertainty.
“If the prices do not go down, it will have an impact on our vacation plans,” said Long.
“We don’t normally take many trips out of town, but this could result in none this year,” added motorist Scott Moore. “We will look for things to do closer to home.”
Cambridge police Chief Mark Delancey said his family is planning more for any trips.
“We have not made any changes really at this time, but we are doing more planning,” said DeLancey, referring to both local and out-of-town ventures.
With cruisers traveling 24-hours a day, seven days a week, the police department has not seen any major impacts, but that’s also thanks to good planning.
“I added $10,000 to our fuel budget this year because we expected gas prices to go up,” said DeLancey. “Not this much this fast, but we expected an increase this year.”
DeLancey said based on a recent fuel bill, he believes the department could finish in the black for fuel expenses by about $2,000.
“I talked to city council last week and told them if the fuel costs continue to rise, we might have to ask for more money by the end of the year,” said DeLancey.
Noble County Sheriff Jason Mackie is also concerned about the sudden spike in fuel prices and the impact it could have on his budget.
“It’s a huge problem for everybody,” said Mackie. “Anytime you have an increase in prices like that, it’s a concern for government agencies, businesses and individuals.”
The sheriff said the extra money spent on fuel will likely have an impact on some of the agency’s plans and services, but he declined to identify which services could be impacted.
The following is a look at local regular gasoline prices per gallon on Thursday:
- Sunoco, Glenn Highway, $4.19
- Marathon, Southgate Pkwy., $4.09
- Speedway, East Wheeling Ave., $3.99
- Marathon, Dewey Ave., $3.99
- BP, Cadiz Road (U.S. 22), $3.99
- Marathon, East Wheeling Ave., $3.97
- Marathon, Wheeling Ave., $3.97
- Pilot, Southgate Pkwy., $3.97
- Sheetz, Southgate Pkwy., $3.96
- Murphy USA, Southgate Pkwy., $3.96
- Circle K. Main Street, $3.89
- Marathon, Main Street, $3.99
- Clark, Main Street, $3.99
- Marathon, Wintergreen Road (OH 285), $4.09
- Speedway, Wintergreen Road (OH 285), $4.09
- GoMart, Wintergreen Road (OH 285), $4.09