South Carolina average gas costs climb to more than $4

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Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 5:28 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2022 at 7:18 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The average price of a gallon of gas has surpassed $4, according to GasBuddy.

At the time of this writing, the price stands at $4.002

Columbia’s average comes in at $3.998.

University of South Carolina Research Economist Joseph Von Nessen said the prices are driven by the increased spending of the recovering economy and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He said while the recovery will level off, the uncertainty with the war could drag out the prices.

“We are also seeing tourism season that will be ramping up fairly soon so if you combine that with the supply shortages that are resulting from the war in eastern Europe, that almost certainly guarantees that we will see some continued increases in fuel prices for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Von Nessen said the rise in gas will translate to higher transportation costs and ultimately higher prices for other goods.

“The food you buy in the grocery store, to the purchases you make from Walmart or Amazon online, all of those involve transportation costs as well,” he said.

Columbia resident Alex Fogle described the price of filling up her car on Tuesday for the first time in two weeks. “I just had a baby two weeks ago and I haven’t filled up my car since and so it’s a little bit shocking that at half a tank to fill up was $50,” Fogle said.

She said the jump in prices will likely impact her family’s food and travel budgets.

“I’m really just disappointed in what’s going on, because I do think we have the means to lower gas prices in the U.S.. I understand the position we’re being put in with the nuclear situation with Russia, it’s kind of a toss-up,” she said.

Lugoff resident Bill McGhee said the rising prices will drive up operating costs for the five vehicles his business uses.

“We travel all over, we’re in Camden, Lugoff, Columbia, Blythewood we’re all over. We do a lot of real estate work so we have to go where they go,” he said.

On Tuesday, he spent $90 to fill his truck, when it once cost $60. He said it’s cut into his grocery budget.

He expressed frustration with President Joe Biden.

“I believe if they would open up the Keystone Pipeline we would be in better shape and I think the President could do a whole lot better job than he’s doing in Ukraine and here, because we’re not in the war but we’re paying for the war,” he said.

RELATED STORY | SC joins other states suing Biden Administration over Keystone Pipeline

In his speech on banning Russian oil on Tuesday, Biden reiterated some costs of sanctioning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine would fall to consumers.

“I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home,” Biden said.

Von Nessen said long-term, the recovery will level off but the war in Ukraine is unpredictable. GasBuddy keeps a running map of the costs of gas near you.

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