SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The pain at the pump is growing across Michiana. On Friday gas prices jumped even closer to four dollars a gallon. Many people said they just can’t afford it.
"Whew I think it’s rough right now with the gas prices soaring so high,” said Lisa Hatcher after she filled up her car.
What it the cause of the high prices? We ask Saint Mary’s College Assistant Professor of Economics’ Richard Measell to help us out.
"A lot depends on what happens in the Middle East the Iranian and Israeli crisis is certainly the driving force behind how gas prices are today,” said Measell.
He said gas prices commonly rise when the weather gets nicer in the spring. More people then are out and about driving, which causes for a higher demand of gasoline.
That’s not the only reason prices can jump. “They want a cleaner burning fuel in the summer time and that costs more to make,” said Measell.
He said it’s more important to have a cleaner burning fuel in the warmer months that way it cuts down on pollution.
"The summertime climate leads more to smog and bad air. Winter conditions when you have more breeze and so summertime is more of a pollution alert and so we need cleaner fuel for that,” said Measell.
So with a long list of causes including the Middle East, the time of year, speculation, and demand, the price could even jump to five dollars a gallon as summer approaches.
For those putting their credit card in at the pump, they said the higher prices are stopping them from doing more.
"I’ve cut back on extra trips,” said Gabe Huscio. “I basically just go to work and that’s it.”
When we asked Measell if there’s a chance the gas prices will fall soon, here’s what he said.
“Not in the short term, not drastically at least, I think once the fears in the Middle East, if that subsides, we'll see lower gas prices,” said Measell.
For most that can’t come soon enough.