Gas Prices Highest in Six Years - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Gas Prices Highest in Six Years

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REHOBOTH BEACH, De. - It's perhaps one of the busiest times of the year to be on the road. July 4th celebrations are just around the corner, and for many road trips are in the works. But a new report shows that commuters will be facing higher gas prices this upcoming weekend. 

AAA announced that the average price for regular gasoline is $3.68 nationwide, which is the highest summer price since July of 2008. 

"It's horrible," said Michael LeVanis who paid $82 for his gas on Sunday afternoon. "Its pretty much a vacation every time you need to get gas in the truck."

One of the main reasons for this spike in gas prices has been the escalating crisis in Iraq. Nonetheless analysts point out that the bulk of Iraqi oil production has not been impacted. About 75 percent of Iraq's oil supply and approximately 90 percent of the country's exports are located in Southern Iraq, where there are still no problems. 

No matter the reasons for the increase, LeVanis said he is frustrated by the spiking prices. 

"It used to take you maybe 30 dollars worth of gas to come down to the beach," he said. "Now you're well over 80 or 90 dollars each way."

As July 4th nears, many are looking for alternative methods of transportation. George Panarello, the owner of All Wheels a scooter shop in Rehoboth Beach, said that scooter sails have been through the roof. 

"It increases the sales," he said. "2008 was probably the best year for any scooter dealer in the history of scooters."

Panarello explained that scooters average in between 70 miles per gallon and 140 miles per gallon, making it an attractive alternative to those who want to save gas and money. He said the rising gas prices have created a lot of sales.

"People get angry," he said. "They get resentful over the price of fuel. How much it goes up and down. And it definitely shows. You'll see people come in and the phone calls increase."

$3.68 is a three cent increase from one month ago, and a 15 cent increase from this time last year. AAA said that eight out of ten people will be taking a road trip for the holiday, amounting to 41 million Americans traveling more than 50 miles. 

Lauren Hewitt said that her family was going to take a cruise to their destination for the holiday instead, because gas was prohibitively expensive. 

"This is really depressing," she said of the cost. "You used to be able to go out and have a good time. Ocean City was only a three hour drive, and now it's costing us an arm and a leg just to get us here for three hours. So it's actually better just to stay home and have a 'staycation.'"
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