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Cost of gasoline creeping up
Drivers wary as gasoline hits $2.55
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Reese Williams fills his car Monday at a Marathon station on Hwy. 20. - photo by Jim Dean
Weekdays about 7:30 a.m. and again at 2:30 p.m., Louis Flanigan can be found at the RaceTrac gas station in Cumming.

“This is about the cheapest place in the state here,” said Flanigan, a contract courier for Executive Courier, who spends nearly $300 a week on gas shuttling pathology specimens between Northside Hospital’s campuses.

“Saturday after I get paid, my wife puts aside about $300 for my gas and for whatever little amount of maintenance I have,” he said. “In Atlanta ... I don’t buy gas there because gas is about 25 or 30 cents higher.”

A few weeks ago, RaceTrac was charging $2.07 per gallon regular unleaded. But when Flanigan filled up Monday afternoon, the price was $2.54, on par with the state’s $2.55 average, according to AAA Auto Club South.

Crude oil posted its highest weekly closing price of the year last week, at $80.50 a barrel, AAA reported. Two weeks ago, crude oil closed at below $72 per barrel and the state gasoline average was $2.28 per gallon.

It was the first increase since early August.

AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report is the nation’s most comprehensive, reflecting actual prices at more than 100,000 gas stations nationwide.

Despite weak consumer demand and high supply, the price of gas still rose 12 cents in the past week.

Gregg Laskoski, spokesman for AAA Auto Club South, said the increase is in large part due to the weakness of the U.S. dollar.

“Unless we see a change of direction for the dollar, the current run-up for oil might last longer than many economists and oil analysts expect,” he said.

That said, gas prices are still lower than they were at this time last year, if only by about a nickel.

“We can’t afford to have the gas keep going up on us because it’s affecting our profit,” Flanigan said. “I can handle this right now, but if it goes up another 15 or 20 cents a gallon, it’s really going to cut into my profits.”

Reese Williams knows he has it better than many of his friends. Working from home most of the time, he may spend $40 a week on gas.

“I don’t feel the impact as much as other drivers,” said Williams, who spent $2.59 per gallon at a Marathon station on Hwy. 20.

“I don’t know how these people who have these SUVs and trucks do it,” he said. “I don’t know how you justify $300 or $400 a month just to put gas in your vehicle.”

According to, the pump prices Monday in Georgia ranged from $2.35 in Dublin to $2.99 in Marietta.

Bob Mills found gas for $2.52 at BJ’s Wholesale Club in Cumming. Mills said he fills up two to three times a week.

If prices rise a few cents, it won’t be a problem, he said. But just like when gas was about $4 per gallon last fall, Mills said he cuts down on travel and stays closer to home.

But with a full-time job, there’s not many other ways to cut back, he said.

“The gas prices affect all of us,” he said. “When they increase more than a few cents with no apparent reason, it gets most people fed up. The cost is passed on in everything we buy. Then the government steps in and adds more taxes to it and breaks the bank.

“You’ve got to go to work, and you have to see family, so you can’t stop [buying gas]. It just hurts more.”