Gas Prices Jump Up

Last year the demand for oil in the U.S. showed biggest drop in demand since 1991. You'd think that would be good news at the gas pump, but it hasn't worked out that way.

In fact, the price of a gallon of gas has jumped more than 30 cents a gallon from just last month, 20 cents higher than this time last year.

The Energy Information Administration says demand in 2006 was down by 105,000 barrels a day or a half a percent. It was the first decline since 2001 and the biggest since 1991.

Jet fuel and residential fuel oil was down significantly, but gasoline demand was up.

Not only did we not see drop in gas prices, we're seeing an increase, and with the summer driving season just around the corner, it's likely the price will continue to rise.

Experts say every time the price of gas goes up at the fuel pump by ten cents; it will cost the average driver and extra $75 a year.

Local resident Ben Stocks said, “I don't understand how normal people with normal wages do pay these huge prices for gas I'm lucky enough to have my own business and use it as a tax deduction.”

Spring breakers, who planned their trips to Panama City Beach months ago, have to re-budget mid-trip, according to Alli Primer.

“You know we get down here and it's like two-thirty when we come down, but by the time we leave it could be up to $2.45, $2.50, but we have to go back so you have to pay it."

Not much the spring breakers can do to economize, but others are trying. Consumer Pete Heagle says he is putting off single-trip errands, combining them into one trip.

“We try to plan our day to take the best advantage of mileage."

If you think our gas prices are high, consider what drivers are paying in the United Kingdom, more than $6 a gallon, but in Venezuela, gas only costs 12 cents a gallon.