Gas prices on rise; could near $3 by end of spring

Consumer Watch

Gas prices are rising, and industry experts said it could top off at nearly $3 a gallon by the ned of spring.

The national average right now is $2.79, and North Carolina’s average is $2.69.

ECU economics professor Philip Rothman said the rise is due to a decision made by OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. 

Back in 2016, they made a decision to cut the production of oil.

Since global economy is doing relatively well, the demand has gone up.

“The macroeconomic thermometer says it looks okay,” said Rothman. “It looks okay to pretty decent, but there are always risks..

With the semester wrapping up, ECU students who are trying to get home will have to pay the high gas prices to do so. 

“It’s definitely hurting the pocketbook a bit,” said Tyquin Washington, who attends ECU. “Especially when you’re a grad student and you’re finances are really strict right now at this time of your life.”

“I got to leave next week!,” said Kyle Ponapart, another ECU student. “I don’t think; I think I might stay here. Just kidding, I have to go home. But my gas tank is at half right now.”

Another reason for the prices increase is due to more people being on the road.

Nicer weather means more road trips for many, which increases the demand.

That also affects the type of gasoline sold. 

“The oil that refiners produce for use in the summer is different from the non-summer months, and its more expensive to produce,” said Rothman. “They are in that process of doing that transition from sort of the non-summer to the summer stuff.”

According to AAA, gas prices are only likely to rise from here. 

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