By Liz Collin

By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Drivers likely noticed it on their way home from work Thursday night. Gas jumped to $3.49 a gallon all over the Twin Cities. Just Wednesday, a gallon of regular unleaded cost $3.29.

WCCO-TV broke the bad news to a few people filling up at gas stations and showed them just how much more they’re shelling out since last year.

One driver is paying $7.32 more a week right now. Another driver is paying $12 more.

Unfortunately, David Vang, a finance professor at the University of St. Thomas, doesn’t think $4 is far off. He thinks it’s possible this summer.

Vang says it has the most to do with the Middle East as the unrest that started in Egypt rolls into Libya.

Even though the U.S. doesn’t get much oil from there other countries do, oil prices are on a global scale. Problems with production anywhere hurt our wallets.

It’s not just drivers feeling it. On Thursday, some airlines hiked prices by $20 to offset fuel costs.

In a bit of good news, Vang doesn’t believe the price of gas will be enough to threaten a still shaky economy.

“I don’t see something like this really knocking us off track,” Vang said.

Liz Collin

Comments (71)
  1. M B says:

    This is total bull.

    Libya accounts for 2 percent of the global supply. TWO percent. The price last week was 3.19. Now it’s 3.49. That’s 30 cents. So, TWO percent of the global supply justifies a almost 10 percent price hike from 3.19.

    Total bull. Total greed.

    1. Eric says:

      Lots of it is greed. What you gonna do about it? They know you have no alternatives.

    2. Phil says:

      Greed isn’t what Jesus taught – maybe if you went to church or read the Bible you’d know that.

    3. Mark says:

      @Phil– do Christians know that??

    4. Ed says:

      Greed is what built and runs America (Remember how we shared everything with the indians?). Now, in moderation it works for us and we grow, too much and the house of cards falls. Without some degree of greed there is no capitalism.
      Yes folks, Greed is the American way.

    5. Oil is Not Oil says:

      Libya is a major producer of light, sweet crude which is much easier (cheaper) to refine than heavier (sour) crude which is found in the western hemisphere. The global price of oil is largely based on sweet crude.

    6. Tim says:

      Most people who claim to be Christians are not. Jesus DID teach this. Matthew 7

  2. tiredandretired says:

    America gets more of its oil from Canada than anywhere else, so this whole situation is a scam. I’m totally fed up with the greed of big corporations. They have way too much influence in our government, too. It’s obvious, when a state’s governor lies to the public to justify taking away citizens’ rights.

    1. Eric says:

      So what if it’s a scam? The problem is we have no alternatives. Stop being so naive. It’s just business, and they’re in the driver seat. You’re just along for the ride. Enjoy.

    2. johnnycmoun says:

      We are talking about gas prices! The two don’t even coincide together moron. Plus, if you wanted to compare price gauging it would be on the Union side dipstick! You do know teachers salaries come from tax payers, right? If the state is billions of dollars in debt, dont you feel that the Union should help with the solution or bring ideas to the table but most of the Union is run by the biggest dumb askes that don’t have a clue. Congrats on being retired but I hope you worked along the way and helped pay some of the teachers saleries.

      1. America the Critical says:

        Huh? Is johnnycmoun really Charlie Sheen?

  3. GOD ひらがな says:

    I can help you people if you want help with the rising gas prices but I can’t help you alone.

    I ask one thing, drive LESS or DON’T drive at all if you want to see gas prices to drop, thats all i ask.

    1. fwjeoifj says:

      doesn’t matter if you drive less or not. The gas prices don’t reflect based on supply and demand. They cut supply and we cut our demand, but it just doesn’t matter. They will charge what they want because they can, and no one does anything about it.

      1. mike says:

        Of course something is being done. It is rising on speculation that things are worse then they are or that things could get worse. What did you think the rich were going to do with their extra tax cut money, create jobs? hahhaahahahahahahahaahahhaaha………….
        Commodities are gambling for the rich investors who have money that is expendable!

    2. Broke commuter says:

      God, how will I get to work if I don’t drive, how will I pay my bills if I don’t get to work. Not everyone lives near thier place of employment or even has public transportation as an option. God, get real.

      1. insignificant says:

        yeah…it’s gonna cost me 2 hours of pay per day if it gets around 5$/gallon…yikes

    3. M B says:

      I denounce any god that calls itself “God Hiragana”. A god that names itself after a Japanese writing style? At least that’s what your symbology looks like to my computer.

      It would be so nice to drive less… That pesky work is such an unnecessary destination. Maybe I’ll cut that out and go on welfare. That for sure will help things, won’t it? God will provide, right? Ah, it won’t? Well, dang.

      And we can just cut out all those deliveries we get by trucks. We don’t need food, clothing or any of the other products we use on a day to day basis.

      Being as large as we are, unlike most countries, we can’t afford to maintain a mass transit system that would service the majority efficiently. If we did, I’d be riding that instead.

      In short, many of us are already driving less.

  4. Unnamed says:

    Found em up. Throw them in prison. We need a revolution. America sucks!!! Sorry. True American single mother who works 24 hours a day fir nothing!!!!

    1. johnnycmoun says:

      Thats your fault not America – move to another country…

      1. Joe says:

        It’s worse off the American continent. I know. I’m in Europe.

  5. Bob says:

    Get ready for recession round 2, the world is to dependent on oil.

  6. Spell says:

    Even though the U.S. doesn’t get much oil from there other countries do, oil prices are on a global scale spelling correction : …oil from (their) other contries…

  7. spell says:

    oops never mind… just a poorly constructed sentence

  8. TOM says:

    oops Let the comments go. America = LAND OF TAXES AND DEBT. STOP GIVING GAS AND OIL COMPANIES TAX BREAKS. sTOP THEM FROM PROFITS OF 400 BiLLION (2010). actually more than that.

    1. Truth Missile says:

      Your comment is one big contradiction. DId you go to a private, non-union school?

  9. Dalton says:

    I drove my Volt into B.P. LAST NIGHT….I needed a can of soda….

    1. eijae says:

      That’s a waste of a trip…

    2. Future EV Owner says:

      I won’t get my Nissan LEAF EV until December this year. I’ll still need gasoline for my lawnmower. What am I to do if it costs $5 to keep my lawn mowed for the entire season?

      The oil companies can always find SUV owners willing to pay through the nose. As for me… I’m outta here!

      1. Baby heuy says:

        Get a battery powered lawn mower!

      2. Cheryl says:

        Buy a horse…ride it….it’ll cut your gas for free.

      3. insignificant says:

        yeah…just great…and what the u.s. does have alot of,is coal…but the Gov. is trying to shut ’em all down for their green agenda BEFORE we have alternatives at hand…just ask ’em in Texas where the grids couldn’t handle the demand so they lost power in many parts(except for the superbowl stadium)…Commodities will rise right along with the oil prices,so better plan on growing gardens again,eh?

  10. paz says:

    gas can’t be too high…the SUVs on the freeway are still driving 80 mph.

    don’t forget to boycott BP

    1. Joe says:

      Actually the only one you’d be hurting is the person that is selling the fuel. Not the company.

  11. Raymond Burr says:

    Why don’t you just tell people the truth for once. The gas prices is all about GREED and thats it. It is all. about bleeding the poor working man to death. Thats it.

    1. Mike says:

      It’s about business and profit. Pull yourself up with YOUR OWN bootstraps. Voting for the ME party, (Republicans) has consequences outside of hating gays, women’s rights and having a machine gun in your closet.

  12. Joel Havel says:

    one thing to say to big oil – pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered

  13. mark from says:

    Drill Baby Drill

  14. America the Critical says:

    Like that’s an answer, Mark. How about conserve, baby conserve. Or innovate, baby innovate. Or something really simple like car pool, baby, carpool..

    Sorry, that makes too much sense.

    1. Future EV Owner says:

      Remember how the conservatives howled when Obama said simply keeping your tires inflated could save you as much as 5-10%???

      Conservatives have answers for all the world’s problems. Tax cuts and more drilling.

      My wife already drives a hybrid (38-40mpg) and late this year I’ll take delivery of the all-electic Nissan LEAF EV. ZERO GAS! ZERO EMISSIONS! And I can charge it using solar/wind.

  15. Ron in Stillwater2 says:

    Oh Marky – we are already the #2 oil PRODUCING country in the world with the Saudi’s at #3 and Russia at #1. Interesting facts…….
    So we have a pretty dang small population too vs China, India, and many other countries.
    But we consume sooooooooooooooooooooo dang much more than anyplace. So I frankly don’t give a rat’s rump about this “drill baby drill” mentality as it wouldn’t matter a bit if you and you ilk do not wake up to the “CONSERVE BABY CONSERVE” idea. You lose you debate very time dude. Wake up and smell the coffee

    1. Smarter than you :) says:

      You have failed to find out that China is now the World’s largest consumer

      1. And even smarter than you :) says:

        LOL – not sure what way he meant it but the USA is better than 7x the use on a per person basis. That’s a widely developed country vs an emerging one that of course would use substantially more in it’s overall development. Not to mention the massive differences in population size.
        So you both made points – I’ll clarify further what neither of you addressed. 😉

  16. annie says:

    Thank you….many times people forget (or have not been made aware) that sustainability is our only option.

  17. Drill baby drill says:

    …and drill baby drill doesn’t make sense???

    1. Rich Er says:

      nope. not at all

      cut back on the stupidity and waste by 10% in the states and there is no shortage. cut back more and things get cheaper.
      imagine that – America moves away from everything being disposable and is no longer wasteful and product gets better, costs decrease, everything gets better except for the folks who benefit by pimping the “marks” of the world out like some commone prostitute on Lake Street.
      heck – hire mark to scoop the dirt at a landfill when you cannot find help.

  18. Sound Advice says:

    Obama and his oil tycoon cronies are crooks. Bush too

  19. FlippIn crazy says:

    Hard part of this high pricing BS is always that thing called trickle down. $5 a gallon would hurt me – I drive 1100 miles a week in the trades. It’ll cost y’a’ll more to and some can swing it and others can’t. Look at Rodgers, Albertville, Farmington and around those areas. They started to fall apart lastt $4 peek…housing already was going into foreclosure before the Big debacle. even hit. So drilling solves this? You are kidding right? By the time that hits the refineries we already have hit that capacity as we will just suck it all up in advance. For whatever reason that is the new American mentality. It will destroy us.
    At least during the Great Depression people had enough brains and fortitude to conserve. It saved them and we became a great nation. Now — morons abound and the “ME” thing rules. The truly rich laugh at it all as they make billions and billions and the commoners bicker. Are we actually a nation of idiots????

  20. Billy says:

    American people are nothing but over weight PIGS, its a fact, you consume waaaaay to much, eat tooooooo much and everything else.

  21. Just a thought says:

    I’m surprised someone hasn’t made a comment about an election that will be occurring 20 months from now

    1. Stephanie Dusenburry says:

      it don’t matter who’s in office – the USA HOG shall continue to waddle down the road slurping all the oil everything in its path as it consumes itself to death.
      We were the idolized country and people once and the true power house of wealth,land,grandios, freedom,military might and opportunity for all, from the poorest to the richest.
      I imagine today we are likely the fattest, the laziest, the most addictied to the various forms of substance abuse, possibly the greediest on an individaul basis, as morally corrupt as anyone, and starting the ascent down that path to a wanna be nation.
      What a shame

      1. Just a thought says:

        I was just saying that if you look at the last few elections, gas prices have increased leading up to them. which has had people speculating the conspiracies behind it with who’s in power and trying to get in power.

  22. Tom says:

    Yes gas prices are rising because of what is going on in the Midldle East. And investors are worried that there “might be” major disruption in oil pipeline. But so far there has been no major disruption in that area. And if that does not happen then investors will be wrong again. Maybe investors should start basing their reactions on “actual” occurances rather than “what ifs”.

    And Phil I don’t know why you brought the church into this when you mentioned the word “greed”? But you are wrong about that. The church is greedy but not too the same extent as oil companies or wall street. Whether you have the “old school” churches or the “mega churches” both love money. The only difference between those two is that the people who run the “mega churches” are millionaires and the “old school” churches the priest doesn’t have too decide which designer suit too wear that day.

    1. BBB says:

      Indeed there is a new super greed in parts of religion as you state. The old school indeed wore the cloth in a different way. The whole super greed thing seems to have truly exploded with TV, internet and general media giving these “people” so much access to all.
      Ignorance indeed was bliss

  23. Baby Heuy says:

    Unrest in Egypt and Libya? Any excuse to raise prices!

    1. Gomer'sPile in MN says:

      The commodity traders are getting so filthy rich they have run out of places to bury the booty.
      A partial work week shutdown of a day or some form of consumption restriction would take away there ammo for now. Won’t happen as it takes away wealth from to many others. Oh well – the party is over and we all are finally realizing that based on this crazy amount of hate and dysfunction that abounds in so many areas. Like politics for a start. 😦

  24. MN Man says:

    I am tired of supplying these Middle Eastern countries with cash. Once the oil is gone, they will crumble and we will be in a pickle as well.

    Once the economy is “fully recovered” the US needs to find a way to become more self-sustaining. Completely electric vehicles are not the answer yet (too much power to heat the vehicle in northern MN), and right now ethanol (especially from corn) uses more fuel to produce than it yields.

    The first step should be to lower the use of petroleum. More mass transit systems and keep improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles. Next, find a viable alternative for which we can produce a large portion of it (and maybe export to Libya and Saudi Arabia!)

    This is a slow process and I hope it speeds up.

  25. LA says:

    billy “all americans are pigs?” get real, i dont over eat, dont overspend and to generalize everyone in that catagory is just wrong. your snide caddy remarks are just a sign of your ignorance or just plain stupidity.

    1. WakeUp Folks says:

      with LA on this.
      Re-phrase to state that just “most” are please 😉

      1. Hey there >> says:

        indeed it’s not quite everyone. We are sure working on it though

      2. Cheryl says:

        I’m with ya LA……Seriously? That consumption provides jobs for people from farming to food service. It’s a fact that we “consume”. Why it’s something dirty, I’m not sure.

  26. Just saying says:

    I worked in the oil fields in West Texas for 15 years I worked on drilling rigs for Chevron and Phillips oil, I remember capping of wells for future use some of the wells would pump for 100 years. Lets burn up other peoples oil first and then tap into our reserve. There is price gouging going on

    1. ex-trader says:

      Without question. I used to trade secuities and always started to cringe when the drillers like GreyWolf and others started capping ’em up. It was between 6-12 months and every time ….bingo. Big sickening spike every time. And the securites and commodity business is sleazier then Hecker or Madoof in case you still have not figured that out.
      When you have a monolopy, basically no over-sight (dirty word to many) of an industry it can be played like a fiddle. Banking/Housing was one of the few times they closed it up …. or not. They handing out billions of our tax dollars in bonuses again this year. Business as usual

  27. Jack Mehoff says:

    Conserving is a good idea, but that will just force them to cut production, keeping demand and prices high as no matter how much we conserve, we will still be consuming some.

    Somethings gotta give and I think Mark is right, we need to start supplementing more of our own by drilling and then go with the Walmart mentalility and start naming our own price. Of course that sounds good to me, but I also know that greed will overcome that plan as well.

    Socialism here we come.

  28. As it should be says:

    It’s not a scam. Lybia accounts for 2% of global oil production. When that supply is threatened it effects the entire market. There’s a delicate balance. Take some time and learn something about economics and how markets really work. We should all wish it were as simple as being about the big evil greedy non-Christian rich corporations of this big bad mean world of bad people, but that’s not what any of us dealing with right now. That’s a child’s view of the world. If any of you are victims, you’re victims of believing that oil prices SHOULD be low. You’re spoiled and you didn’t plan for changes in a market you knew nothing about. Adapt, evolve, learn, grow, budget…and plan for the future because there’s no guarantee on anything getting easier because Americans are belly-aching over their cost of living increase.

    1. at fluffy says:

      Hmmmmm – you employed by which oil company? thx in advance for response

  29. Ed says:

    Vang doesn’t believe the price of gas will be enough to threaten a still shaky economy…
    I think Vang is sadly mistaken on this.

  30. Wake up! says:

    Last time gas reached $4 gal. Everyone started driving less. What happened? Gas prices plummetted. Coincidence? I think not. When everyone decides to cut out unneccesary driving again, the prices will magically decrease and everyone will wonder why…. It’s supply and demand. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

  31. chimp says:

    Haha you poor saps who bought houses 30miles from work because they were cheaper how’d that work out for you. i live in coon rapids and work in coon rapids, i often get gas 1 time a month, life is still good how them struggles coming …..

  32. MArshall says:

    … Right that wont knock us off track nope an extra hundred dollars a month out of the budget wont slow the economy or make people uneasy at all. What about those struggling to make ends meet already? These gas hikes could ruin them. What we need to do is drill for oil our selves and use it to boost our economy. We need wiser leaders. People who arnt afraid to stand for the majority…

  33. slacker says:

    Good article , I am going to spend more time reading about this subject

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