Gas prices have been pumped up once again and for consumers, it's all very deflating. The average prices around Tulsa have gone up another ten cents. That leaves us just a penny below the national average, flirting with the $2 mark.
News on 6 reporter Steve Berg checks the Gas Gauge and drivers say the higher prices are not attractive at all.
Feeling the pain at the pump? Imagine if you commuted every day from Fort Gibson, like Jack Thompson. "It's really hurting', buck 89, It's about 15 bucks a day that I'm spending on gas." Driver Brad Buffum: â€œThis I think is the highest, the most I've ever put into it is $33." Prices have prompted Brad Buffum to change his driving habits. "Not that much, I've really cut back, I stick mainly to midtown."
What's going on? Dewey Bartlett with Keener Oil says part of it is a sharp increase in consumption in countries like China and India. "China has several billion people that are very recently finding the benefits of a capitalistic system. So they're now seeing what it's like to have a car, couple of motorcycles."
Some Americans are turning to motorbikes. Sacha Wycoff at Tulsa Scooters says high gas prices have had an effect on her business. "It goes up, like gas." She says people are amazed to find out scooters can get 90, even 130 miles to a gallon. "They are, it's funny, I thought more people would understand with a bike how much better you can do with gas, but I guess not a lot of people realize that."
Bartlett says not enough people realize how increasingly dependent the US is getting on foreign oil. And he's repeatedly warning about the consequences. "These countries are putting us in a position where we've got to pay the piper and we have to pay the price." Jack Thompson: â€œI hate it, I really hate it."
Bartlett says during the oil embargoes of the 70's, the US imported about 30 percent of its oil. Today, it's 60 percent.