Drivers in the Myrtle Beach area will notice a steep increase in gas prices from just a few weeks ago.
The average price per gallon of regular gas went up 10.5 cents during the past week in the Myrtle Beach area, according to FuelGuageReport.com. The average price in South Carolina went up 9.9 cents from last week, but South Carolina and Mississippi remain the only states with averages below $3.20.
“Gasoline prices continue to rise across much of the nation, which is precisely what we had forecast earlier this year, so it does not come as much of a shock,” said Patrick DeHaan, a GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst, in a press release.
Tom Crosby, the spokesman for AAA Carolinas, says the increase has a lot to do with the economy in Europe.
“When things go well in Europe, we end up paying more at the pump. If things go bad in Europe, we pay less at the pump because people don’t speculate about the price of oil,” Crosby said. “People have been thinking that the European Crisis has abated, but there are still some rumbles coming out that it isn’t solved, but it’s still going to push prices up.”
Although the price per gallon is continually increasing, South Carolina still has the cheapest gas in the country.
“South Carolina has a very low gas tax at 16 cents a gallon and as a result you have cheaper gas. We are also on the pipeline so we get our gas a lot quicker. We get it a lot more directly so shipping costs are a lot less,” said Crosby.
Some Myrtle Beach area residents say they are focusing on the positives about the overall low cost of gas despite the increase.
“I was just in Ohio, Maryland, and North Carolina and it was like 30 to 40 cents higher,” said Myrtle Beach resident Michael Graves. Graves said he looks for the gas station with the cheapest prices before he fills up.
Shirley Matherson, who lives in Socastee, said the increasing price is limiting her driving.
“If I want something in Myrtle Beach I just wait now until it comes to Socastee. With the gas prices rising so fast, I have to limit the amount I drive,” Matherson said.
The price is still down 36.6 cents from a year ago, but it’s 14 cents higher than a month ago.
The price per gallon nationally only increased by 4.9 cents to $3.29. That is only a 2.4 cent increase over the past month, according to SouthCarolinaGasPrices.com.
Contact BILLY CROSBY at 626-0310.