Published Sun, May 27, 2012 11:21 am Dateline
A trip to the gas station can be a costly transaction, but it's not as bad as some predicted as the price of gasoline has actually fallen a bit as spring edges toward summer.
At Valero in The Plains, business is brisk.
Athens resident Jim Caesar is found pumping gas into his truck and some gas cans.
"When the price goes up, I drive less obviously because the fuel cost more," said Caesar.
Caesar says he shops around for a good price.
"Fuel reflects on everything. Your food, your groceries, your utilities, anything you do that's related to oil is a factor in that," he said.
For most of 2012, gas prices have been on the rise, so the dip in May is appreciated by Brook Warga of The Plains.
"I look now and then to see if it's gone up, but I don't shop around for gas prices. If it goes up, I try not to drive so much but I need the gas so I have to pay for it whether it's high or low," she said.
Warga is a student at Ohio University.
"We actually have a truck and an SUV so we use a lot of gas. I bought a bike so I can ride to class at Ohio University and back," said Warga.
Rene Guterba is also a college student and says she's very mindful of gas prices.
"Well it's gone down but then it went back up. It was like, it when down a couple weeks ago, but it went back up at least in Nelsonville where I'm at school. It went back up higher there," she said. "And it's higher here than it is back at home. I'm about four hours away from here. I'm filling up becaue I'm going home for the weekend and it's, as you can see, expensive."
Guterba is from Columbiana and attends Hocking College.
"My parents keep an eye on that. They don't let me come home every weekend. I do, that's why I usually get [gas] here in the Plains. It's usually a little bit cheaper than in Nelsonville, at least a couple cents but it counts. [It] adds up," she said.
Analysts say gasoline moved toward $4 a gallon around here because of fear of military action again Iran and the Iranian embargo, as well as countries around the globe hoarding oil.
However, the risk of a conflict with Iran, the fact that OPEC has replaced Iranian oil barrel-for-barrel and the fact that countries across the globe have beefed up their supplies has meant a rather dramatic fall in the price of oil.
As a result, gas prices have fallen too.
"I look at it every time, pulling in, to see when it's going up or down," said Athens resident James Brown, as he was pumping gas at the Valero station. "I think it should be a lot lower than what it is honestly."
As summer approaches, one would expect gas prices to rise, but experts say things are different this year.
One expert says U.S. production of oil is at the highest level it's been since the 1960s. This is expected to lower gasoline prices in the future.
Lower gas prices should make things more pleasant for Anita Graham.
"I think it's ridiculous. Ridiculously priced," she said.
Graham is a cashier and often the target of customer grumbling.
"Sometimes they act like it's our doing. The prices are where it is. But of course we have no control over it," she said.