How Political Unrest Sends Gas Prices Soaring

By: Deneige Broom Email
By: Deneige Broom Email

Almost everyone is thinking the same thing about gas prices.

"It's awful," said Tallahassee driver Regina Schrieffer.

People are dreading the thought of seeing that price ticker move incredibly fast when compared to the number of gallons you're buying.

"Hopefully they'll come down with travel season coming up," said Schrieffer.

Alex Beirnes is visiting from Canada and says things could be much worse. "It's expensive [in Tallahassee] but I'm from Canada and it's about five bucks a gallon there so it's better here but it's not good."

Some economists say the pain everyone is feeling at the pump actually has less to do with current supply and demand and more to do with economic predictions.

"It's more of a concern of future supply because of the uncertainty," said FSU associate economics professor Paul Beaumont.

Beaumont says about 90 million barrels of oil are bought and sold everyday throughout the world.

"A lot of that comes from the middle east so anytime there's any sort of political unrest it affects world prices," he continued.

The most recent political issues in Libya, have driven gas prices up throughout America and the rest of the world.

However Beaumont says Libya only exports about 2% of the world's oil and that supply hasn't been slowed yet.

"It affects futures prices of crude. If you're a seller of oil and you think the price is going to go up in the future, you might be smart to hang on to it today and sell it next month rather than this month."

AAA says the national average for a gallon of gas is now up to 3.37, breaking the record for the highest level for this time of year.

It's almost 27 cents more than what a gallon cost just one month ago.

The price on February 28, 2011 is 66 cents higher than this time last year.

Remember, you can look for the cheapest gas in your area, by heading to the business section of our web page. Click on "Gas Prices" and type in your zip code.

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