Rising Gas Prices Have Drivers Pinching Their Pennies

March 07, 2005 -- Posted at 9:30 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- Up, up, and over $2.00 gallon in cities nationwide.

Folks here in Region 8 fear the days of $2.00 are right around the corner.

"You never know when it's going to go up again, so you might as well just go on and get some," said one driver.

We expect to see gas prices rise during the summer months--but with the travel season still months away--what has caused this spike in gas prices?

Gary Latanich is an economics professor at ASU.

"Southeast Asia is being developed rapidly. China, for instance, last year was at a nine and a half percent growth rate. They are expecting another growth rate of eight percent. They are industrializing rapidly--they demand for fuel is taking off," said Latanich.

As the demand rises, so do our gas prices.

Latanich adds there have been no major finds in oil reserves within the last ten to fifteen years.

"So ever large the demand pinches a constant supply--you'll see prices begin to rise," said Latanich.

Latanich doesn't see a huge decrease in gas prices in our future.

"I would guess in the next 30 or 40 years we'll be more like Europe and pay 3 to 4 dollars for gas. As the price rises, the incentive is to produce an alternative engine," said Latanich.

So for now it looks like drivers will be shelling out big bucks to fill up their big trucks--and there's only one thing we can do.......

"Just got to pay for it and go on," said one driver.