By George Solis

BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Those who’ve been to the gas station in the last several weeks,  may have noticed rising gas prices.

Ordinarily, this is the time of year, many of drivers can see lower prices at the pump, but instead, motorists are seeing one of the largest increases in gas price. But, it’s a matter of supply and demand, and the timing could not be worse, as millions are expected to travel for the holiday season.

“One remembers a couple of years ago this would have been cheap,” says motorist Chuck Kerr.

“Just overnight $2.29, $2.35, unbelievable,” says Joe Henry.

Maryland drivers have been paying more at the pump, even more than the national average which currently stands at $2.25 a gallon.

The amount many Marylanders will notice is considerably higher than it was a year ago by nearly $.30 cents. AAA says the national average has also increased 21 of the past 22 days.

The cause of the surge? Basic economics: supply and demand.

Last month OPEC, the oil-producing cartel decided to cut production in an effort to boost prices and relieve pressure on member countries in the Middle East.

“That being said we’re still looking to pay the second lowest gas prices over the holiday period since we’ve been projecting them,” says Ragina Averella, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Still, the increase is troublesome, as a record number of Americans prepare to hit the road for the holidays. AAA projects more than two million Marylanders will be on the road soon, with no other choice but to pay or stay home for the holiday.

“Prices are a little higher but not enough to keep one at home,” says Kerr.

Unfortunately, there will be no relief as we enter the upcoming holiday. Experts say don’t count on cheaper gas into the near year. Prices are expected continue rising, and could even reach the three dollar-per-gallon range in some areas.

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