Gas price hike hurts us all

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By The Staff

It's more than "water cooler talk" or casual conversation these days.

The price of gas is affecting our everyday lives.

It's hard for most of us to drive past a gas station without at least a casual glance at the price sign. And oftentimes that glance is more than just casual.

Last Friday, stories about increasing gas prices were buzzing about, with projections as high as $4.50 or $5 a gallon.

One common thread in nearly all the stories: Why?

Sure, many said, they could understand gas prices going up after a hurricane hits and causes damage. But before it even happens?

We now know that at least eight oil refineries were shut down in advance of the storm, which resulted in limited production, and we've come to learn by now that that will automatically increase prices.

But it's not just at the pump that we're seeing increased prices. Prices are going up on nearly everything. A gallon of milk is $4.19 this week, up from just $2.99 a year ago.

It does seem ironic that oil companies are reporting record profits in a time like this, when the rest of us are paying record prices. One would assume the companies' profit margins wouldn't increase at such a rapid pace.

It all comes down to the fact that cost is driven by supply and demand. We as consumers will have to work toward keeping our demand low, then perhaps the supply will increase and with that — hopefully — prices will decline.