Eeek. Gas prices in the South Sound are closing in on record highs. You keep hearing about gas prices hitting $4 a gallon. That seems like a long way off but prices around the South Sound keep inching up, putting us closer to that mythical mark.
Today the average gallon of gas in Tacoma is $3.441. That’s 1.8 cents from the record high of $3.459 hit on May 14 of last year.
Drivers are noticing the high prices.
Miguel Caro, 23, pulled up to a Shell Station in Tacoma with his tank on empty. He bought three gallons of gas, instead of filling up.
“I just put in less and try not to travel as much,” Caro said.
Today’s price is about a half cent higher than yesterday and 43 cents higher than a month ago. The worst part for consumers is that we are still months away from the summer driving season, a time when prices usually hit their peak.
If you drive a car or truck that takes diesel, you already are paying record prices. Diesel hit $3.840 a gallon today.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that the surging prices are slowing gas consumption around the country.
Here’s an excerpt from the story:
As crude-oil prices climb to historic highs, steep gasoline prices and the weak economy are beginning to curb Americans’ gas-guzzling ways.
In the past six weeks, the nation’s gasoline consumption has fallen by an average 1.1 percent from year-earlier levels, according to weekly government data.
That’s the most sustained drop in demand in at least 16 years, except for the declines that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which temporarily knocked out a big chunk of the U.S. gasoline supply system.
This time, however, there is evidence that Americans are changing their driving habits and lifestyles in ways that could lead to a long-term slowdown in their gasoline consumption.
As supplies have outstripped demand, gasoline inventories have been on the rise for the past four months, reaching their highest levels since February 1994. Yet, in a sign of the growing disdconnect between demand and the market, prices at the pump are being driven higher by a powerful rally in crude oil.