Drivers face dramatic jump at the pumps

PHILADELPHIA - September 11, 2012

In the Philadelphia area alone, the price of a gallon of regular jumped 7 cents in the last week to $3.90


The jump has been fast and unexpected.

Normally after Labor Day gas prices go down as the summer travel season comes to an end and demand is lower.

Several factors are in play here, with the same painful result.

"It's ridiculous. It's insane," said Christopher Capobianco.

Drivers feel like they are pumping liquid gold into the tank these days, and the sudden shock of the most recent hikes has them rethinking their driving habits.

"You have to change your whole lifestyle, actually. For me, I didn't go away this summer at all. I live on a very fixed budget because I am a disabled veteran," said Capobianco.

Over the past week, prices in the area have jumped anywhere from 8 to12 cents a gallon.

Liz Robinson says it kills her budget. "That's why I don't travel. I stay home," she said.

But most of us don't have that choice. The commute to work is suddenly more expensive.

Many drivers are pinching their pennies by choosing a lower grade at the pump.

"With the economy, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Gas prices are out of control, you have no choice," said Jim Moskal.

Many suspect the oil companies are price gouging, but AAA says you can blame it on Isaac: Hurricane Isaac.

"That did shut down the refineries for at time in the gulf, and that effected the production, and therefore the overall prices nationally," explained Jenny Robinson from AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Some other refineries have also shut down temporarily to switch over to winter formulations.

The same thing happened last year with hurricane Irene. That temporary spike in prices lasted just a few days.

"We can't guarantee that prices are absolutely go down in just four day, but we do feel around mid-September we will start to see a shift downward," said Robinson.

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