If your wallet feels a little lighter lately, it may be because you’re paying more at the pump.
Georgia gas prices set a new high for the year last Sunday at $2.30 per gallon, after rising 16 cents in the last 18 days. And according to AAA, fuel costs are likely to keep climbing as the weather warms up.
“Pump prices have steadily climbed in Georgia, and that springtime bounce is far from finished,” said AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins. “Normal spring factors like rising demand, refinery maintenance, and the introduction of summer-blend gasoline should keep upward pressure on pump prices for the next couple of months. Gas prices generally reach their annual peak by Memorial Day, unless a hurricane or refinery outage threatens supplies. AAA forecasts prices will peak at around $2.75 before summer.”
On the bright side, that prediction is still lower than last year’s peak of $2.84 near the end of May, and much lower than Georgia’s record high of $4.16 in 2008, when prices spiked nationwide.
As of Monday, Cobb’s prices were relatively low compared to the rest of metro Atlanta at $2.27. Cherokee and Gwinnett are slightly lower at about $2.25, and Fulton County’s average price is the highest in the area at $2.39.
Cobb commuters filling up their tanks at the QuikTrip near the intersection of Barrett and Cobb Parkway said they definitely have noticed the rising prices.
“When I moved here 28 years ago, Georgia was one of the cheapest,” said retired Air Force pilot Wayne Stevens of Marietta. “Then the politicians raised it a couple cents here, a couple cents there, now it’s right up there with everybody.”
But Stevens said he is not planning to travel any less because of high fuel prices, and he tries to keep the current prices in perspective.
“It was ridiculous when it was over four dollars,” he said. “Two dollars, low twos, that’s not so bad.”
Marietta taxi driver Chris Watson said his line of work is significantly impacted by fuel prices. He said he’s been on the job since 2004, and conserves gas by parking between fares, but mostly he just tries to appreciate when prices are low and go with the flow when they’re not.
“It varies day-to-day, but I’ve been doing it so long I’m used to it,” he said. “It doesn’t matter because you’ve still got to have gas in your personal vehicle or your business vehicle. There ain’t much you can do about the price of gas. … It’s just part of the world we live in.”