Local gas prices soar past $2

In less than an hour Monday morning, motorists' pocketbooks felt a major hit as gas prices in Itawamba County rose as high as $2.109 a gallon for regular unleaded.

At one local service station, folks stopping to fill up their tanks just before 8 a.m. paid $1.989 a gallon. Before 9 a.m. motorists saw an increase of 11 cents to $2.099 a gallon.

The most popular grade there — self-serve regular — was priced at $2.09 a gallon, while customers paid $2.19 for mid-grade and $2.29 a gallon for premium.

Nationwide gasoline prices have surged to $2.11 a gallon, the government said Monday, and the latest run-up in oil futures may lead to more sticker shock at the pump in the days ahead.

According to reports on Monday, oil prices would have to exceed $90 a barrel — from the day's close of $56.62 — to match the inflation-adjusted high set in 1980. Gas prices would have to climb another $1 per gallon to reach the inflation-adjusted all-time high.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) reported on Tuesday that the national unleaded average was $2.095 a gallon, compared to $1.896 a gallon a month ago and $1.731 a gallon a year ago. In Mississippi, the unleaded average on Tuesday was $2.023 a gallon as compared to $1.819 a gallon a month ago and $1.650 a gallon a year ago.

Just five years ago in the March 15, 2000, issue of The Itawamba County Times, reports on rising gas prices that had been pushed to historically high levels were the top of the news.

“As of the first of March, 2000, prices ranged in the lows of $1.49-$1.52 for regular and the highs of $1.67-$1.72 for premium.”

In March, 1979, The Times reported gas prices were headed up and could soon be $1. “Around the world, energy — particularly oil based products — is one of the most unstable commodities that can be found. Everyone from government officials, to newsmen, to the general motoring public has his own opinion on what is happening with the gas situation. Local gas station owners agree that prices are going up — maybe to a dollar per gallon by the end of the summer.”