The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 2, 2013

Holiday time means gas prices increase

Associated Press

You can almost set your calendar by them.

It must be the holiday season because gas prices just went up since last week.

And we don’t mean a penny or two a gallon.

In some places, the price jumped 10 cents or more. And that’s after we’ve had several weeks of falling prices.

Is it a mystery why that happens?

In the past, the oil companies have said the increases were due to “routine seasonal maintenance” or “supply disruptions” or “tight supply and high demand.”

Well, the seasonal maintenance issue has passed and there have been no major supply disruptions. In fact, the U.S. recently passed Saudi Arabia as the world’s No. 1 oil producer.

Yes, the top oil producer in the world.

That would help eliminate the “tight supply” excuse.

So, the question remains: “Why the increase in gas prices?”

It has to be the holiday.

The oil companies raise the prices because they know Americans will be on the highways. It happens every Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

Folks say there’s nothing we can do about it. We’re at the mercy of “Big Oil.”

Well, there is a little something.

Shop around. You do it for food, clothing, mortgage rates, cars.

Do it for gasoline. You don’t even have to go into the store as you would for food and clothing. The price signs are right out on the roadside.

So, just pay attention to the prices as you go about your regular routine and go to the station with the lowest price.

Maybe, if enough of us do that, we can have a holiday to celebrate.