Gas price watchers in the Ohio Valley got a shock Thursday morning. Overnight, prices at the pumps had jumped at least .40 cents.
In Bellaire, gas cost $2.49 per gallon Wednesday night and on Thursday morning, the price inflated to $2.89. Those were actual numbers at one gas station, and they were pretty typical all over town.
It came on the heels of a month where gas prices dropped day after day. The big oil companies say the spike was due to problems with a refinery in Indiana.
But today the public is not so sure.
“I buy my gas like every two weeks but yeah that’s pretty high. That’s fast. Very fast,” said Bellaire resident Wendy Roman.
“I don’t understand with all the gas, how they doing all the oil wells, the gas wells and stuff like that, that it should be way lower than what it is now,” said Moose Dodrill from West Bellaire.
“I don’t think it’s fair because we’ve got all this gas in this country. Why don’t we use our own resources,” said June Rawson from Bellaire.
“It’s just the CEOs, wanting an excuse to raise the prices up. There might have been a refinery that went down but it’s just another excuse for them to make more money on the consumers,” said Bellaire resident Hank Goble.
“My wife went down to Louisiana for five days. And they’ve got gas down there for 2.08 a gallon. And around here, they try to rip the people off. And they’re doing it too, Buddy,” said Wilbur Tuttle of West Bellaire.
AAA says the average price of a gallon of unleaded went from $2.60 to $2.63 overnight. But in the Ohio Valley, the increase wasn’t three cents, it was more like .40 cents.
One BP spokesman says they’re assessing the damage at their refinery, and trying to buy gas from other sources temporarily. But locally, consumers who had been enjoying a summer of lower prices, are reacting with anger and suspicion.