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April 14, 2006

Why are gas prices up again?

Just as the weather has warmed up, gas prices have moved even higher. NC State University’s Mike Walden says that several factors are to blame.

“First of all it’s warm weather. Any time we have warmer weather, people are going to drive more -- and that means more demand for gas. And since supplies are still very tight, that’s going to push the price up,” says Dr. Walden, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist.

“Second, we are in a period of time where the refineries are converting from using oil for heating oil to using it for gasoline. Sometimes they will use that time period to do maintenance of the refineries, so some refineries have been shut down. Obviously that increases prices.

“A third element is something new. Last year Congress passed a new antipollution law … changing the additives that have to be put into gasoline. And there’s some shortage of those new additives. And so that’s also adversely affecting the price of gasoline.

“But I think all this means is that we should probably get used to these higher prices, and I think if anything they’ll move higher as we move into the summer.”

Posted by deeshore at April 14, 2006 07:48 AM