Gas Spike Caused by High Demand

September 2, 2005--Posted at 7:30 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-- Prices at the pump continue to climb and the higher prices have consumers crying of a price gouge.
The steady increase in fuel costs might be more an issue of our own demand.
$3.09, $3.19 and even higher...those are the prices residents around Region 8 are having to pay to fill up their vehicles, and some consumers are worried about a price gouge.
"If there is price gouging going on the government wants to know about it, and we all want to know about it and it should be dealt with in an appropriate manner," Congressman Marion Berry says.
As we continue to fork out more money for gas are the prices at the pump a price gouge or more an issue of supply and demand?
"How you define price gouging is pretty odd you can't force people to purchase things that's not really possible so they want to buy it, they are willing to pay the price," ASU Economics Professor Randy Kesselring says.
Over the last week the daily increase is causing residents to run to the pump to make sure they aren't left without, and this rush is helping to contribute to the hike.
"That's because of expectations, and that's a major increase in demand and that puts upward pressure on gasoline prices," Kesselring says.
Just a few years a gallon of gas cost you the same price as a large drink, now a gallon of gas will buy you a full meal but what is the government doing.

"They have opened up the strategic reserve to make some crude oil available to the processors, and refiners so they can make more product," Congressman Berry says.

Hurricane Katrina put a major dent in the supplies of crude oil for the US, but with the government helping to increase the supply, how long can we expect to pay these high prices," Congressman Berry says.
"I really think this huge spike we are seeing in prices is a temporary.  I certainly hope its a temporary thing, and I think it is," Congressman Berry says.