Pains at the pump

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:53 PM

Unfortunately, it's up this week — mostly due to unrest in Egypt, and declining crude oil and gasoline inventories.

Gas was in the $3.65-a-gallon range in the Tri-Cities early Thursday, then jumped to $3.85 by late afternoon. That's up about 40 cents from last week.

According to Dearborn-based AAA of Michigan, West Michigan prices averaged $3.49 on Monday, up from $3.42 last week, but down from $4.28 a month ago.

Oil prices have jumped about $11 a barrel from two weeks ago.

GasBuddy.com senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan said Michigan prices are quick to respond to instability. We're at the front of the pack on price hikes, and the state is usually the first place where gas prices start to trickle down compared to national averages.

“The increase is being seen nationally, but it so happens we're very fast to respond,” DeHaan said. “Across the country, gas may go up for the next week. Here, in the next two days, gas will start trickling back down.”

Indiana resident Chuck Holloman put $36.02 worth of gas into his PT Cruiser at the Shell station in Grand Haven on Thursday afternoon. He said prices were lower in Indiana when he left there Thursday morning.

“It's got to be done,” he said of his purchase. “You need gas. I'm not about to go electric.”

The $3.85 per gallon that Holloman paid mirrors the state average, according to GasBuddy.com statistics.

Grand Haven resident Jake Vermurlen pumped $20 in his vehicle on Thursday. It's a ritual he repeats every three days.

“It was like 25 cents cheaper a couple of hours ago,” Vermurlen said. “I think there's no reason why it should have shot up like this. I think it's price gouging. They didn't have a truck come in today and fill up (their underground tanks). I know that for a fact. Why are the prices up?"

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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