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Buddy Posey of Somerville at CMC Country Corner and Feed Store on Alabama 67 on Friday.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Buddy Posey of Somerville at CMC Country Corner and Feed Store on Alabama 67 on Friday.

Crude awakening at the gasoline pump
Just in time for Thanksgiving: pricey gas

By Deangelo McDaniel · 340-2469

You may have to use part of that money you have saved for after-Thanksgiving sales to get you to your shopping destinations.

Crude oil prices have slowed in their move toward $100 per barrel, but area travelers can expect gas prices to reach above $3 per gallon and stay there through Thanksgiving.

This, some economist say, means shoppers will have less disposable income, leaving stores to suffer or have sales earlier, while gas industry profits continue to rise.

"The cost of crude oil has been going up at a time when it normally is dropping," said Clay Ingram of the American Automobile Association.

In the week after Halloween, the average price per gallon for regular unleaded increased 16 cents per gallon from $2.80 to $2.96.

Gas prices have stayed at this level, and according to Ingram, it's going to get worse before it gets better.

"The fact that Thanksgiving is around the corner is one of the factors that will keep gas prices from going down," he said.

Between now and Thanksgiving, Ingram expects gasoline prices to continue to increase.

But, he said, the prices probably won’t exceed the state record of $3.07 per gallon for regular unleaded that was set on May 23, 2007.

Still, the reality that drivers may have to choose between Christmas presents and gasoline is real.

“I know my children will get fewer presents this year because of gas prices,” said Tony Sutton, who buys most of his gas at Cowboys in Hartselle.

“They are generally the cheapest, but man this stuff is high,” he added. “They know we have to have it so they don’t worry about the price.”

Mike Peebles owns Cowboys.

“I hate to see it go up, but when we are charged more, we have to raise the price,” Peebles said.

Like other station owners in the area, Peebles expects gas to be above $3 per gallon by Thanksgiving.

In the Decatur area, stations were selling regular unleaded for between $2.94 and $3.09 per gallon Friday.

According to AAA, the national average price for regular unleaded reached $3.04 per gallon Wednesday.

This is an increase of nearly 28 cents in the last month, Ingram said.

Average gasoline prices in November never exceeded $3 a gallon before this year, he said.

A year ago, the average price was $2.20, meaning it costs roughly $12.50 more today to fill a vehicle with a 15-gallon tank.

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