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Gasoline prices on the rise

FILLING UP: Pearl River County resident Tudye Fountain fills the tank on her vehicle at a local gas station Tuesday morning. With prices of fuel rising, Fountain is concerned about her monthly budget. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

FILLING UP: Pearl River County resident Tudye Fountain fills the tank on her vehicle at a local gas station Tuesday morning. With prices of fuel rising, Fountain is concerned about her monthly budget.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

It’s that time of year again; where rising gas prices prompt the clenching of cash and pinching of pennies.

Prices in Picayune are averaging about $3.20 for a gallon of unleaded with ethanol added. If drivers want gasoline without ethanol they will pay an additional 10 cents per gallon.

“This is ridiculous, they keep getting worse,” said Pearl River County resident Rachel Lee as she pumped gas Tuesday morning at a Picayune gas station. “A few weeks ago the price was below three dollars, now look at us.”

When gas prices start to rise, Lee said she tries to stay home as much as possible to avoid the added expense.

County resident Trudy Fountain said every time the price of gas goes up, it means less money in her pockets.

“I’m a retired school teacher on a fixed income, so gas prices really affect me,” Fountain said. “When the price is down I have more spending money, but when it’s up it makes me count my pennies a lot closer.”

Within the city limits of Picayune the cheapest per gallon price can be found at the Buddy Hop at the intersection of Bruce and Main Streets, where a gallon of gasoline was $3.14 Tuesday morning. Murphy Oil and Racetrac were selling a gallon of regular unleaded for $3.17 and $3.19 respectively.

Nicholson had the highest price per gallon within Picayune’s city limits. The Shell and Chevron stations at Interstate 59’s exit 1 are asking $3.25 and $3.24 respectively.

A gallon of diesel is priced at $3.59 to $3.75, depending on the station.

Nationwide prices are higher. According to the Associated Press the average price of a gallon of gas is $3.41.

The cause of the rise in prices is attributed to violence in nations that produce petroleum, such as Venezuela and South Sudan, an AP story states.

Other sources such as CNBC.com attribute the rise to crude futures trading at more than $100 a barrel, reduced production within European nations and the upcoming annual refinery maintenance.

No matter the cause, both the AP and CNBC expect the rise to continue into April.

Gas prices are expected to top out at close to $3.70 per gallon in some states by Easter Sunday, said GasBuddy.com chief oil analyst Tom Kloza in the CNBC.com story.