By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gas prices are exploding and it’s likely setting off alarms in your bank account. 

Mike Schuh explains it’s not just the unrest in the Middle East that’s fueling the price surge.

Get out your wallet.  Gas prices are soaring across the country.

“I was able to find good deals a few weeks ago, but now there’s really no place that has cheap gas,” said one driver.

Here in Maryland, you’re now paying $3.48 a gallon for regular.  That’s up 15 cents from last week alone and 39 cents more than last month.

“Really bad, really bad, probably $75-80 to fill this up,” said Lisa Patterson, motorist. “That’s crazy.”

Our country uses 400 million gallons of gas a day. With the civil war in Libya halting some supplies, prices have skyrocketed.   

But experts say it’s not just unrest in the Middle East but investors who are driving up the price.

“Well, the explanation is that it’s unbridled investment money that is dominating the market to the point where supply and demand doesn’t matter anymore,” said Sean Cota, Petroleum Marketers Association of America.

“It’s troubling, but it does not stop me from driving around because necessity outweighs the cost of the gas because you gotta make it work,” said Tammy Hayman, motorist. “Gotta go to work, gotta go pick up my kids, gotta do what I have to do.”

The dramatic increase is prompting the White House to consider tapping into the emergency supply.  The strategic petroleum reserve holds 726 million barrels of crude.  President Bush dipped into the reserve following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, releasing 11 million barrels.  Gas prices dropped from over $3 to $2.75 in less than a month.

Analysts say higher fuel prices will be felt not just on the ground but also in the air, meaning you could pay more for a ticket the next time you fly.  Southwest Airlines said Monday they’re going to tack on an extra $10 for many of their domestic round-trip tickets.  Last week, five other airlines did the same thing. color codes the prices around the country.  California is the worst, the Mountain states are the best and Maryland is somewhere in the middle.

Comments (28)
  1. ratm33 says:

    Always have an excuse for gas prices going up. Nobody in the government cares because our tax money fills their government car they are driving.

    1. dizzychixmd says:

      i will have to agree with ratm33. someone tell me how they raise prices middle of night. when I go to work 1 price come home new price next AM another upward price

      1. Kevin says:

        Gas prices are out of control,I say that we all stand together and not buy GAS every weekend for the rest of the month and beyond if we have to.PLEASE SUPPORT NO GAS WEEKEND

  2. Kathryn says:

    I thought the excuse was that they always jack up prices as the time of year when people do more driving approaches? It goes up summer and near holidays where people commonly travel like Xmas. What I wonder about is why oil companies are making record profits as this happens? I know the gas stations are not making the money, it’s above them and somehow they need to cap how much profit can be made on a basic necessity. Folks can chose whether to buy cigarettes, cashmere sweaters & a Mercedes, but we can’t really chose not to buy gas.

  3. adam blaylock says:


  4. WhySoSerious says:

    Making $18 Hr and drives a SUV with a Company Gas Card!! Who cares about Gas prices..

    1. Mary says:

      this guy is a JERK, everyone should care about the gas prices not matter how much you make.

  5. Bob the Builder says:

    It’s pretty simple, it’s oil company GREED

  6. Wheres common sense when you need it says:

    “Well Mr. Politician, if you keep the public worrying about gays getting married and why illegals should be somehow legal and why all the small issues are the most important, we can continue to rape the American Public for all the money we can. This will lead to higher profits which will lead to more money being donated to your re-election fund, plus an advisory position with a huge paycheck and benifits once you decide to “retire”

    “Why thank you Big Oil Company. This is a very nice offer. I think it will be a win win for both you and me. I will get right to work.”

    1. nkshummingbird says:

      I would worry on the illegal as they are taking jobs away from those of us born here cause people want to pay under table. When people here are desperate for jobs. They use to drill for oil in bakersfield ca. But then the sierra club got involved for a stupid kit fox

      1. Wheres common sense when you need it says:

        I don’t want illegals to be legal. That was the point. Far as I am concerned, we should tell them how great the Chinese economy is doing and ship them over there since they will work for pennies a day. Finally something the US has plenty of to export, Illegals.

  7. bernard F Mc Kernan says:

    I’d like to get a rise in my Levi’s as fast as gas prices go up!

  8. Mary says:

    There is a flyer being sent via email that if you boycott Exxon and Mobile and buy gas at other retailers, than we will see prices come down. The reason is that Exxon and Mobile are the two biggest oil giants and if everyone stop buying gas from them, they will be forced to bring their prices down. Than the other smaller companies will do the same. So everyone, boycott EXXON AND MOBILE.

  9. Squaregrouper says:

    Folks, THIS TIME the problem here is not the oil companies, it is the speculators. Oil is not “sold” the way many think it is (Exxon doesn’t simply buy a million gallons from Saudi Arabia). It is traded, much like stocks. When the unrest started in Libya (an oil producing country) the traders in “oil stock” thought that oil supplies were going to dry up and the value of oil was going to rise. Because of that, they all started buying oil, which caused the price to skyrocket. The bottom line is the price of oil is controlled by groups of people GUESSING the future law of supply and demand for oil.

  10. chris says:

    mary do you no that exxonmobile sells gas to wawa and royal farm and other places like that . you may not go to exxon or mobill but the chance is good that they sold gas to that gas staion.What they sell to them is just the gas they are not putting any of the additives in it. so before you read something online you should get you fax

  11. T Koneval says:

    Can someone explain to me what “gas reserves” are REALLY for ????

  12. Mary says:

    Chris, I only was passing info based on a flyer I received. The person who sent it was someone who did a lot of research and is a consumer expert. I would imagine that he got his facts first before the mass emails were sent regarding this boycott. By the way, instead of criticizing me about my intelligence, why don’t you do spell check before you post your comment.

    1. MARY says:


  13. Dave says:

    Drill now and drill often, if you really want to make a dent in the price at the pump. It would also diminish the power of the Arabs over the world price of oil.
    Why is it okay to drill in other countries, but not ours????

  14. Mike says:

    What really gets me is that once oil goes up, gas goes up. When a price increase occurs for oil, gas goes up immediately. In other words, oil that is purchased & put on the boat isn’t here yet when the price goes up. So, we are paying more for gas made from oil that was already bought at the lower rates. It seems that, the oil companies, big business, the Government and CNN are all to blame for the high prices. Let’s face it, CNN blames it on world demand. China has had a gazillion people for a gazillion years. Why all of a sudden are the prices rising? The correct answers are: 1. CNN says it is; and 2. THe investors want to make more money so big business says that it is. The easy short term fix is to suspend the federal and state taxes. WIll the Government do this? Probably not. Remember, prices are business driven — never mind the consumer. Gas is something that EVERYBODY needs. The oil companies are a monopoly and nothing will change that. The only way to fix this is for everyone to boycott buying gas for 2 or 3 staright days. When they make nothing for a short period, maybe they will wake up. THen CNN will have something new to report…..

    1. jmiller17314 says:

      Your are so right. I managed a gas station for several years. The owner watched the price of oil knowing that it would effect his “gas” price in approximately 70 days. Also the small stations are lucky to have a 3 – 4 cent markup on the price of gas you are buying. That is why the store portion of a convienence gas & go price their items so high. That is where they make their profit. Not on the gas you are buying.

  15. Jim says:

    Unfortunately not buying from Exxon or Mobile will have no effect on anything. These emails saying we should boycott this company or that company have been going around for years now. As Chris mentioned, oil companies sell petroleum products to each other all the time as well as convenience stores and mom and pop shops. If you stop buying from Exxon and started buying from BP or Citgo or Shell, the demand at those stations will go up, which will drive the price up, they in turn will buy the additional gas they need from Exxon who will gladly sell off they extra gas they have at a premium. Basic supply and demand at work. So Mary – while the email you got might be from a “consumer expert” he or she is mistaken about how the modern petroleum marketplace operates.

  16. whatnow says:

    When gas reached $4 a gallon a few years ago, and all of a sudden stay at home moms starting carpooling their kids to school, commuters starting carpooling downtown and the light rail got packed, demand went down and the price fell quickly to $1.90 a gallon. I ride the light rail and only use 2 gallons of a gas a week. I hate it but I do it so as to not be beholden to these terrorists. If everyone would look at their driving, I’m sure most could cut find a way to cut down.

  17. Noleman says:

    One word for all this…..GREED!

  18. June Piper-Brandon says:

    What the government should be considering is alternative fuel sources like nuclear fuel which is clean and viable, clean burning coal, and perhaps stopping the ban on new drilling for oil. There are loads of places right here in the United States where they could be drilling for oil so that we wouldn’t have depend on foreign countries for our oil.

  19. Scott's County says:

    Whoopeee! Increased gas prices means less drivers on the road and less teenagers causing accidents because they can’t afford to fill their cars. Always look on the bright side everyone.

  20. bunky says:

    can anyone tell me how to find information on converting my car to run on something other then gas? Then the government can’t tax me and i don’t really care if its illegal. I think the government is making illegal decisions against whats best for the people.

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