Paying too much at the pump?

Georgia sees spikes in gas prices as supply falls behind the demand.


Caitlin-Grace Daniels, Correspondent

In early March, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies decided against increasing oil production despite steadily climbing gas prices.

“Extending the production cuts maintains a growing imbalance between demand and supply, and puts more pressure on oil prices to rise, should global demand continue to recover,” says Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

The current national gas price averages at $2.76 versus last year at this time when it was $2.40 according to the Energy Information Administration. GasBuddy predicts a 70% chance that the national average will reach $3 per gallon by Memorial day. 

According to AAA, these skyrocketing gas prices were a direct result of the forced Gulf shutdown, and some midwest refineries like those in Texas shutting down amidst the brutal winter storms last month. 

Production in the U.S. has been cut drastically since the pandemic made for lower demand in gas as people avoid travel, ultimately causing oil companies to lose billions of dollars and costing millions of people their jobs in the oil sector. 

The Statesboro community is undoubtedly impacted by this “growing imbalance between demand and supply” as Georgia was listed No. 6 in the “Top 10 for largest weekly gas price increase” during the last week of February. 

“I have noticed the price increase,” said Georgia Southern student, Coriana Middlebrooks. “I started to notice when it started to take more than $25 to fill up my tank. The increase has affected me heavily when it comes to finances.”

The George-Anne sent a survey to students, faculty and staff at GS, and out of 73 respondents,  29 people reported that Walmart’s Fuel Stations are the preferred and cheaper gas station in the area with Parker’s being the second runner-up. 

Tips for students as prices at the pump go up: 

  • Drive with caution. Aggressive driving can result in as much of a 35% increase in your car’s gas mileage. Avoid unnecessary or excessive braking and acceleration. Always maintain a consistent rate of speed, by staying at or below the speed limit and using cruise control on long trips. 
  • Join loyalty programs. Joining a gas station loyalty program can save drivers hundreds of dollars yearly. 
  • Do your research. Gas prices can vary as much as $1 within a city, so take time to search for the best price before filling up.