- According to The Associated Press, refinery problems have cut into the gasoline supply, and many analysts expect reports to show production slipped by 300,000 barrels last week.
- The price of a gallon of regular unleaded fuel jumped 26 cents from $3.93 to $4.19 at many Evansville gas stations at 1:30 p.m.
The price of a gallon of regular unleaded fuel jumped 26 cents from $3.93 to $4.19 at many Evansville gas stations at 1:30 p.m. After seeing the just-posted price, Gerike told others about it during a stop at the nearby CVS/pharmacy.
"This is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous," she said about the jump.
He said his office doesn't track record one-day spikes for Evansville but certainly sympathized with local drivers.
"Any time you get above a 20-cent jump in one day," Right said, "it's a big one."
Oil prices rose $1.33 to $103.88 per barrel — after falling more than 15 percent last week — leading to speculation gas prices were on their way down for the summer. But the price of oil isn't to blame for the latest jump, Right said. Instead, the hike can be blamed on a culprit that has already wrecked havoc on the region for more than two weeks.
"Flooding," Right said. "It's affecting some refinery operations as well as terminals. In addition to that, some barge activity is being constrained."
According to The Associated Press, refinery problems have cut into the gasoline supply, and many analysts expect reports to show production slipped by 300,000 barrels last week.
Whatever the reason, motorists weren't happy about the addition of more than a quarter to prices that many of them called already too high. While many have tried to be more efficient when going out, there's still plenty of traffic on the roads, said Gerike, 52.
"Obviously, people are willing to pay the price to do what they have to do as far as getting to work or going to school. It's just like anything else. It's going to come to a time when people aren't going to be able to afford it, or they're going to have to get second jobs or something."
But 21-year-old Daniel Garrett of Elberfeld, Ind., said that time already has come for some people. The construction worker on Wednesday was picking up a used Mazda, which he said should get more than 30 miles per gallon, to replace a 1992 Dodge Dynasty.
"Every two days, I would have to put more money in the gas tank. The car sucked, and so did the gas prices," Garrett said. "I was spending $70 every two days."
Gerike counts herself among the lucky ones when it comes to dealing with gas prices. She's a stay-at-home mom and can usually go two weeks between fill-ups. But Stola Molinet of Boonville, Ind., isn't so fortunate.
"We can't just get on our bikes. I live up past Boonville, and I travel a lot, and my husband travels a lot, and my daughter's 17, so she has to get to school and back."
Molinet, 57, said her fuel bills alone have amounted to about $70 a week. Though she still had about a half of tank left Tuesday afternoon, Molinet, who works at Schnucks in Newburgh, expects she'll need to fill up again today.
Gerike does have one major concern about gas prices. Her son, Micah, who is a senior at Harrison High School, will be heading off to Franklin College, about 25 miles south of Indianapolis, in August.
The family was at an orientation event last weekend, where gas prices were already more than $4.
"My son's going to go away to college, and he is going to be traveling three hours anytime he wants to come home, and that's going to be tagged onto everything else," she said.
Many Hoosiers already were paying more than $4 before Tuesday's hike. The average price in the state Tuesday morning was $4.08, according to AAA.
But at least one price analyst thinks the increase will be short-lived.
"This isn't the kind of thing that can last a long period of time," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service.
"I still think six weeks from now we'll be well south of $4 a gallon."