Gas: The new gold puts pinch in pocket

Gas: The new gold puts pinch in pocket
John White, co-owner of TJ's Convenience Store in Wakonda, has witnessed first-hand the effects of this trend, and has some information on why gas is so high.

Roughly four months ago, gas was around $2.09 a gallon for super unleaded, with a 10 percent blend of ethanol added. Last week, gas was at a record high for Wakonda in recent years at $3.29 a gallon. According to White, many factors are playing a pivotal role on surging gas prices.

Perhaps the most known factors for higher oil prices, therefore higher gas prices, is violence and civil unrest in the Middle East. Iraq, one of the largest world suppliers, has been in economic turmoil over the war, and the flow of oil has been reduced to a trickle. Also, the recent hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico has disrupted the production of oil from offshore rigs, and a lesser known fact is that the majority of the oil refined in the U.S. is refined in the Gulf States.

Therefore, Hurricane Katrina has knocked out many of the refineries, slowing gas production.

White also stated that the lack of refineries in the United States cost Americans a few cents at the pump, and emerging countries such as China and India are sucking up much of the excess oil to feed their growing economies.

With gas prices fluctuating, many Americans are calling for alternative fuels such as ethanol and hydrogen. White hopes to be able to provide E-85, but due to industry standards and the logistics of it, he doubts that it will be economically feasible in the near future.

We always would like to remember the good old days of a $1 gas, but let's hope that in 30 years we aren't refondly remembering $3 gas.

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