Why the dastardly jump at the pump? At a gas station on Robb Drive, customer Rich Melillo doesn't really care. He knows that all he can do is, "Pay them. I don't have a choice."
But it doesn't take away any of the sting. It's times like these when you hear those nostalgic comparisons again. At the same station, customer Thomas Dockery reminisced as he filled up, telling us, "In high school, I could put $5 in the gas tank, and I could drive around and have a good time all week!"
Today, just the expected gripes…and a lot of resignation. Nick Lueamrung was next at the pump. As he told us, "I don't think you can do anything about it, we just have to suffer." Nick's daughter and grandchildren live in Sacramento. Because of these prices, he doesn't drive out to see them as much. "Instead of going to see them every 2 weeks, now I'm going once a month. It is a shame, but what can I do?"
And it's also time when the folks behind the counter, just have to take it. Moe Alazawi runs the Wolf Fastop gas station on north Virginia, right across from the Lawlor Events Center. He says that lately, customers "ask why about the prices, but I can't give them a reason, because the oil company has every reason to raise their prices."
Moe has been in the topsy-turvy world of gasoline for 35 years. He says the prices today are really hurting his customers. "John, you get people with the dimes and nickels for gasoline...getting $3 or $4 worth just to get through the day, to go to work and back."
The causes of the price jump run the gamut from refinery shutdowns to thirsty developing countries, all coming down to that supply and demand. Tell that to customer David Holz. Filling his truck, he told us, "Next week it will be because there was a thunderstorm in Oklahoma, so they can give any number of an excuse."
At the next pump over, Rich Melillo chimed in, telling us, "As far as I'm concerned, it's greed. These prices are ridiculous. We shouldn't have to pay them." And with that, Rich was off…about $50 poorer, just 3 minutes after he pulled in.
No matter which way you look at it, high gas prices are a downer. If it makes you feel any better, it looks like we got a real bargain a few months ago. I know…that doesn't help.