Gas prices climbing, possibly to $4 this summer

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The price at the pump is climbing, "They are jumping too fast. Way too fast! it's ridiculous," says driver Stephen Anderson.

That increase may affect summer travel, with prices possibly up to $4 a gallon soon, and some think that'll mean more parked cars.

Yet, that's not an option for Stephen Anderson. "I'm a salesman. I'm out on the road all the time. I constantly have to buy it one way or the other."

So a sharp increase hits his personal and professional bottom line.

Driving the price higher, is an increase in oil prices. And, VCU economist Dr. David Urban adds, a lower supply than normal at this time of year, is not making things any better.

"It's going to take the refineries time to fill back up so that means prices are going to go back up that much faster," says Dr. Urban.

And all of this, in the midst of an economy that's just starting to turn around.

"This is probably the worst thing that could happen and has the potential to boomerang the economy into a more recession type mode," says Dr. Urban.

Dr. Urban does say though, if demand drops, we could see a sharp decline in prices in the future. In fact, an even faster drop than we saw back in 2008 after gas prices hit $4.11 nationally is possibly.

While the price right now is about 80 cents higher than this time last year, many like Stephen Anderson are hoping the experts are wrong.

"It's going to be real bad at that point!" exclaims Anderson.

Dr. Urban adds the lower gas tax here in Virginia is helping to keep prices lower than other states in the country.

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