Gas Prices Make Big, Unusual February Jump

Posted at: 02/17/2013 4:25 PM
Updated at: 02/17/2013 10:32 PM

The average price for a gallon of gasoline across the U.S. is up to $3.67 a gallon. That's an increase of 12 cents in the past week and 42 cents in the past month.

In Duluth, prices sit around $3.80, but just last month, people were paying about three dollars in parts of Minnesota, according to GasBuddy.com.

"Every single time it goes up, it's shocking because it's just more money we have to pay, but 70 cents is quite a bit," driver Nathan Jersett said.

"A couple weeks ago they were so low," driver Fred Huttel said. "I thought that was a good sign, but then they started coming up again, and I can only see them going higher."

Oil analyst Patrick DeHaan, with GasBuddy.com, said the reason, as usual, is the rising price of oil.

DeHaan said he's surprised to see the price jump so high in February when demand is normally low, and he's now concerned about what might happen next month.

DeHaan explained, "traditionally gas prices rise anywhere from 40 to 60 cents a gallon in late March through early May." He said if that happens this year "it will easily send the national average over $4.00 a gallon."

"I'd like to take some trips, but I don't know if I'll be able to," Huttel said.

These rising prices really take a toll on people who drive for a living. Doug Slosson does deliveries for Pizza Hut in West Duluth, and he said his gas allowance doesn't match the high prices.

"We certainly don't make as much money as we used to," Slosson said. "It's difficult trying to keep our cars on the road, so that doesn't help us at all."

Slosson said on a busy night he will drive about 100 miles.

(Copyright 2012 WDIO-TV, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)