Stalemate in DC could hike gas prices

July 26, 2011 3:00:27 PM PDT
Gas prices are once again on a slow climb and, with the government now days from reaching the debt limit, the pain at the pump could get worse.

"Man it's so ridiculous! Going back up! Right now I can only afford $3 of gas," said Roy Hamilton of Willingboro, New Jersey.

In just the last two weeks the price of gas has steadily crept up 9 cents a gallon and is almost a dollar more than it cost this time last year.

"Am I upset about it? Yes. Can I do anything about it? I have to get gas," said Betsy Kondor of Ewing, New Jersey.

"One day it'd be one price, next day it's another so at times you get a little aggravated," said Jerome Nelson of Trenton.

Right now the average price of a gallon of regular is $3.72 in Delaware, $3.71 in Pennsylvania and $3.64 in New Jersey.

Prices typically go up some in the summer, but there's concern things could get a lot worse if the federal government defaults. That's because a default would sink the value of the dollar and, when that happens, the price of oil almost always goes up.

"Couple weeks it's pretty decent and then it hits you in the wallet when you least expect it," said Dana Manco of Cinnaminson, New Jersey.

Typically NJ has lower gas prices than nearby states. With the price of a gallon going up, lots of drivers cross the bridge to save a few cents.

"I'm coming from Pennsylvania to New Jersey to buy it because it's cheaper, simple as that. Cheap as I can get it, that's where I'm going to go get it," said Gerald Cusik of Morrisville, Pa.

It is estimated that for every one cent increase in gasoline prices, it decreases consumers' disposable income nationwide by $600 million a year.