By Bill Hudson

By Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hang onto your wallets — gasoline prices are inching ever so close to $4 a gallon. AAA of Minnesota reports that as of April 24, the average price for unleaded fuel in the Twin Cities is hovering around $3.94 a gallon. That’s just a nickel shy of the all-time record average set back in 2008.

“No, I don’t see it going down, not the way everybody’s talking,” said Carver County farmer Henry Hammers.

But whether you’re a farmer doing spring fieldwork or a motorist driving the metro freeways, the recent rise at the pump is taking a larger part of your paycheck.

Mike Boyd was getting gas at a Bobby & Steve’s station in Minneapolis, but he wasn’t filling up.

“The price is so high and this is a company van and we got a budget, just gotta cut back,” said Boyd.

So Boyd said he’s been consolidating trips around town and canceling visits with family and friends. Unfortunately, that’s a choice farmers don’t have this time of year.

“A tank full was $900 and last year it was probably $450,” said farmer Hammers.

Hammers’ tractors, like all farmers, burn the more expensive diesel fuel. He will need to fill that 250-gallon bulk tank four more time to get his crops planted. Next fall’s harvest will require another four full tanks.

“And for a small guy like me, I don’t make a lot of profit off the 200 acres to begin with so it cuts into it pretty good for me too,” he said.

The price at the pump is up 33 percent from a year ago. Minneapolis AAA is seeing a six-and-a-half percent jump in the number of calls for roadside fuel.

“So they’re trying to get as far as they can before having to file up again. They’re running on fumes and just not making it to the next service station,” said AAA’s Jennifer Brownlee.

Continued unrest and uncertainty in the Middle East, combined with rising demand for oil in developing nations have led to the rising prices. How high oil prices may climb in the near future is the subject of much discussion.

However, there is some evidence the oil rollercoaster is about to stabilize. That’s according Jerry Fruin, an applied economics professor at the University of Minnesota.

“You might see a little higher in the summer, but this idea of $5 a gallon gas, I reject completely,” he said.

Comments (10)
  1. M B says:

    Greed. How is it that at 113 dollars a barrel, gas is almost at the record of 4 dollars a gallon, when three years ago oil was 150 dollars a barrel.

    Where’s the difference? That’s the answer I want. Nothing like sending us deeper into recession over greed.

  2. james says:

    it is becouse the gas companys own all the politicans and our gov. does not give a dam about us middle class people can wait untell the stock market crashs complete and the dollor want be worth the paper it is printed on

  3. Supermarket says:

    Where are the Bush haters? Saying it was Bush giving his oil buddies freedom in the market place. We have Obama, a terrible economy and gas at $4 a gallon. More of the same…

  4. Matthew says:

    James, if you want to be taken seriously, you ought to use proper spelling and punctuation.

    1. nobama says:

      @Matthew who cares how he spells its a comment, are you the grammer police?

  5. Duh says:

    Matthew… It’s ok. Its on par with the language skills of the ‘CCO interns running this thing. Don’t forget to ‘file’ up your gas tank. Good job !!

  6. Pennie says:

    I’m sure we will soon be hearing about the record profits the big oil companies are making, just like we have so many times before when gas prices get sky high.

  7. V for Vendetta says:

    The price of gas in relation to silver is actually going down (Silver is real money). On the other hand the Federal Reserve (as “Federal” as Federal Express) keeps printing more worthless “Owe”bama bucks and the price of gas in reference to the Dollar is going up. No one in the Administration (“Owe”bama, Treas. Sec. Geithner or Ben “Bubbles”Bernanke) want to admit this because it would make them look incompetent and show they are devaluing the dollar to make the debt repayments easier, but gullible Americans will keep blaming “greedy” oil companies who want to make an evil profit.

  8. V for Vendetta says:

    File up my tank? America journalism (“press”titutes) really can’t spell. Who is editing this article. I am sure I could do a better job. And we are supposed to trust these people for accurate reporting?

  9. anonymous says:

    A chunk of the cost is pure taxes. Fuel is a great revenue for taxes for the government. It may back fire if people can not afford to get to work and the economy collapses even more. Income tax on local, state and federal level will be affected as well as standard of living. The last time the gas was so high another tax was added on top of it. That can be looked up and verified. Perhaps it should be illegal to be able to speculate on fuel. Then the market may be less affected by world problems. Presently supply production is being cut. This also can be verified. Yet demand is still up. Goes to supply and demand principles and speculation. It is we the people that suffer the most.

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