Rising Gas Prices, Fees Taking Toll

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FORTY FORT, PA — Mary Cebrick, a senior citizen from Swoyersville who lives on a fixed income, said the increase in gasoline prices will hurt her pocketbook.

“You better believe it will,” she said while waiting for her car to be repaired at Joe Kristan’s Forty Fort Lube and Service on Wyoming Avenue on Thursday morning. “But I guess we can’t do anything about it. I just hope the money goes to where it’s supposed to — to fix the roads and bridges.”

Cebrick was reacting to higher prices at the gas pump, caused most recently by higher wholesale state taxes on gasoline and diesel that went into effect Wednesday — the first of three increases being imposed by a new law. The law lifted the cap on the wholesale fuel tax dating back to 2006.

State gasoline taxes increased by 9.5 cents per gallon, while diesel taxes are up by almost 13 cents per gallon. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, the Pennsylvania gas average was $3.48 per gallon this week, up 5 cents in the last week. Diesel was $4 per gallon.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/1096562/Rising-gas-prices-fees-taking-toll

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SEPTA Ridership At All-Time High

SEPTA logo

SEPTA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SEPTA commuter trains had more passengers than ever in the year that ended June 30, carrying just over 36 million riders, SEPTA officials said Monday.

The trend was mirrored nationwide, as public transit in general and trains in particular have been gaining riders in recent years.

High gas prices, congested highways, relatively low fares, and a growing preference among young people for transit have all contributed to the rising number of passengers, transportation officials said Monday.

SEPTA Regional Rail trains carried 36.0 million riders, up from 35.3 million in fiscal 2012 and above the previous record of 35.5 million in 2008.  As recently as 1993, SEPTA carried just 19.2 million riders.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20130723_SEPTA_ridership_at_all-time_high.html#IwbTqaSRLXv0KHyh.99

Gas Prices Likely To Continue To Increase Then Calm Down After Memorial Day

Locator map of the Harrisburg metro area in th...

Locator map of the Harrisburg metro area in the south central part of the of . Red denotes the Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the Lebanon Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Harrisburg-Carlisle-Lebanon CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lowest price for gas in the area continues to be $3.29 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.

That price is available at Kwik Fill, Sheetz and Giant in the Mechanicsburg area; Hess stations in the Carlisle area; Costco in Lower Paxton Township; B.J.’s in Camp Hill and Sunoco and Kwik Way in the Carlisle area.

The Harrisburg area average price today is $3.40 a gallon, 1 cent higher than yesterday, 7 cents lower than a month ago and 23 cents lower than a year ago.

The state average price is $3.46 and the national average is $3.59.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/05/gas_prices_likely_to_continue.html#incart_river_default

Philly-Area Gas Prices Dropping, Could Fall Below $3.00

Gas prices in the Philadelphia region are falling — and if that trend continues, the price could soon dip below $3 a gallon at some stations.

GasBuddy is reporting prices as low as $3.05 this morning in Woodbury, Gloucester County.  Gas can be found for $3.11 at other stations in South Jersey, and as low as $3.28 in the Pennsylvania suburbs and $3.29 in Northeast Philadelphia.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the Philadelphia area is $3.46 in Pennsylvania and $3.24 in New Jersey, according to AAA.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Philly-area_gas_prices_dropping_could_fall_below_3.html

Gas Prices Soar Across U.S.

WASHINGTON – The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 45 cents in the past 31 days, according to AAA, the fastest run-up since 2005.

Retail gasoline prices have climbed for 33 days in a row.  A month ago, a gallon of regular gasoline cost $3.30; on Tuesday it stood at $3.75 nationwide.

Gasoline prices have risen to within a nickel of $4 a gallon in the District of Columbia as pump prices nationwide have been marching higher – the result of refinery closures and maintenance, lower oil production by Saudi Arabia, market anxiety about tensions in Iran and Iraq, and guarded optimism about the prospects for economic recovery in the United States, Europe and China.

Read more:  http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/gas-prices-soar-across-us/1

Gas Dips Below $3 A Gallon In New Jersey

Census Bureau map of Newark, New Jersey

Census Bureau map of Newark, New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Falling gas prices are hitting numbers not seen since the beginning of the year.

How about under $3 a gallon in North Jersey?

A Delta station on Brook Avenue in Passiac Park, north of Newark, is charging just $2.97 a gallon, the lowest in the state, according to GasBuddy.com – and it’s not some gimmick price.

“It’s very busy,” said a worker who declined to share his name.  “Like Hurricane Sandy all over again.”

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20121218_Gas_dips_below__3_a_gallon_in_N_J_.html#ixzz2FSs6mPoa
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Gas Prices Falling This Holiday Season

Falling gas prices have brought a little bit of holiday cheer at the gas pump where many in the region had grumbled while the price of unleaded hovered around the $4 mark.

The average price of unleaded regular has dropped to $3.75 a gallon in the Buffalo area, down from $3.89 a month ago, according to GasBuddy.com, which tracks gas price trends across the country.  Nationally, the average price was down to $3.27 a gallon as of Saturday.

The downward trend can be attributed to two things, according to Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/business/sns-mct-gas-prices-falling-this-holiday-season-20121216,0,1755611.story

More To Make Trek To Grandma’s House

English: Thanksgiving Dinner, Falmouth, Maine,...

English: Thanksgiving Dinner, Falmouth, Maine, USA 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frank and Janet Sands usually celebrate Thanksgiving in the comfort of their Muhlenberg Township home, but this year will be different.

On Friday the couple boarded a plane to Arizona to spend the week relaxing with family and visiting the Grand Canyon for the first time.

“It will be warmer there, which is good for me,” Frank Sands said last week while picking up Arizona road maps from AAA of Reading-Berks, Wyomissing.

The Sandses are among the increasing number of Americans traveling for the holiday this year.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=429028

U.S. May Soon Become World’s Top Oil Producer

English: basic map of USA

English: basic map of USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK — U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest producer.

Driven by high prices and new drilling methods, U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons is on track to rise 7 percent this year to an average of 10.9 million barrels per day. This will be the fourth straight year of crude increases and the biggest single-year gain since 1951.

The boom has surprised even the experts.

“Five years ago, if I or anyone had predicted today’s production growth, people would have thought we were crazy,” says Jim Burkhard, head of oil markets research at IHS CERA, an energy consulting firm.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121023/NEWS04/121029786/u-s-may-soon-become-world-s-top-oil-producer&pager=full_story

Gas Prices Set A Record In California

This map shows the incorporated areas in Los A...

This map shows the incorporated areas in Los Angeles County, California. Torrance is highlighted in red. I created it in Inkscape using data from the Los Angeles County Website (Los Angeles County Incorporated Area and District Map (PDF). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

California’s average gasoline price set a record Saturday of $4.614 for a gallon of regular, up 12.8 cents overnight – but anyone who filled up in the last few days probably isn’t surprised.

Gasoline prices skyrocketed after the Exxon Mobile refinery in Torrance was knocked offline Monday by a power outage. Other lingering refinery and pipeline problems also contributed to the soaring costs at the pump.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/sns-la-fi-mo-gas-price-record-20121006,0,2206438.story

Oil Prices Hit Four-Month High

Oil prices hit their highest levels in more than four months on Friday, bolstered by the Federal Reserve’s steps to strengthen the U.S. economy and by anxiety about the specter of confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program.

The global oil balance is already tighter than forecasters expected just a few months ago, because of disruptions in oil output from nations outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and by the effectiveness of sanctions against Iran, which is exporting about 750,000 to 1 million fewer barrels a day than it was a year ago.

“The story has been one of a strong stock market, a weaker dollar and continuing geopolitical events,” said Adam Sieminski, head of the federal Energy Information Administration.

He said political strife in Syria, Yemen and Sudan cut off some supplies while the latest price surge was “driven by central bank moves in both the U.S. and Europe” and by “optimism about the economy, which changes expectations about what demand will be going over the course of the next six to 12 months.”

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/oil-prices-hit-four-month-high/2012/09/14/b09829ca-fe9f-11e1-b153-218509a954e1_story.html

Tropical Storm Isaac Slogs Toward U.S. Gulf Coast

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Isaac churned across the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, disrupting U.S. offshore energy production and threatening to hit Louisiana on the anniversary of devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The storm swiped south Florida on Sunday before moving into warm Gulf waters, where it is expected to strengthen into a hurricane.

On its current track, Isaac was due to slam into the Gulf Coast anywhere between Florida and Louisiana by Tuesday night or early Wednesday, the seventh anniversary of Katrina hitting New Orleans, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

“The weather is going to go downhill well in advance of that and that’s why today is the day of preparation,” said NHC director Richard Knabb.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/sns-rt-us-storm-isaacbre87l0ph-20120822,0,2605372.story

Will Gas Pump Prices Keep Rising?

Prices at the pump have been inching higher all month, but don’t expect the trend to continue, according to AAA.

The summer driving season spikes demand and tends to push prices higher, and the recent rise may have been partly fueled by concerns about a possible confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program, according to the drivers’ association.

The outlook, though, is for prices to stay level through Labor Day.

At the end of June, a gallon of regular averaged 3.40 a gallon in the five-county Philadelphia area.

Read more:  http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20120730_Will_gas_pump_prices_keep_rising_.html

Lancaster County Convention Center, Local Tourism Looks Stronger

In recent weeks, the Lancaster County Convention Center has played host to gun enthusiasts, fly fishermen and winemakers for the first time.

For the third straight year, it hosted thousands of quilters.

And, this spring, the downtown Lancaster center will be the backdrop for conservative commentator Glenn Beck, Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in three separate events.

Life is good at the convention center right now, Marketing Director Josh Nowak told Lancaster Convention Center Authority board members Thursday.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/615174_Convention-center–local-tourism-looks-stronger.html#ixzz1qqQe74o3

North Carolina Businesses Along I-95 Tally Tolling Impact

English: I-95 northbound at its intersection w...

Image via Wikipedia

Editor’s note:  $19.20 to drive across North Carolina and gas is more than $3.50 a gallon!  This will push more people to trains, buses and airplanes OR onto alternate routes.

Plans to charge a toll on Interstate 95 in North Carolina will make it more difficult for businesses to quickly and cheaply ship goods up and down the East Coast’s chief thoroughfare, critics say.

North Carolina, Virginia and Missouri all are considering tolls as a way to pay for expanding and upgrading interstates. Supporters say drivers from other states will pay much of the costs.

But like most highways, I-95 is itself a hub of businesses drawn to the asphalt link to markets from Maine to Florida.

Food Lion, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s are some of the companies with North Carolina distribution centers, each employing hundreds of workers, near the highway. The world’s largest hog slaughterhouse operated by Smithfield Foods and one of the nation’s largest food-service distributors for restaurant chains built near the interstate.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/ap/602081_NC-businesses-along-I-95-tally-tolling-impact.html#ixzz1ojH6dDfe

SEPTA Ridership Hits 22-Year High

SEPTA logo with text

Image via Wikipedia

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, SEPTA‘s buses, subways, trolleys, and trains had about 334 million passengers, up 4 percent from the previous year and the most since 345 million in fiscal 1989.

SEPTA officials credited service improvements, higher gasoline prices, Center City population growth, and a growing use of transit by young adults.

To read the entire article from Philly.com, click here:


Gas Price To Drop As Oil Joins Commodities Plunge

Looks like the bubble may have burst!

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors finally hit the brakes on oil, gold, silver and food prices. This week’s sharp sell-off doesn’t mean commodity prices’ stunning rise over the last several months is over, but it is good news for anyone planning a road trip this summer…. http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2011/05/06/business/doc4dc47999345c8310148389.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Exxon Reaps Record Setting Profits For First Quarter

Container of Gasoline

Image via Wikipedia

This is a big part of the problem with the economy.  Companies like Exxon are profiting on the backs of our economic recovery.  High gas prices have increased the cost of most items and taken a huge chunk out of the average American’s discretionary income.  Discretionary income is what American’s have to spend after paying taxes and bills.  Less discretionary income means people shop less, eat out less, take fewer trips, and cut back overall to close the ever-widening gap caused by rising gasoline prices.

So Exxon comes along and announces they made almost $11 billion dollars in profits for the first quarter after we just learned that economic growth was stunted, in part, from high gas prices.  I am not advocating a departure from capitalism, however in light of the recent economic downturn; maybe these behemoth companies might make a little less profit so the economy can recover!

What I find hysterical is that Exxon officials know this news will “P-O” the public and are wondering how to “spin” the negative effects of their greed.  You deserve all the negative publicity you get!

Atlantic City Casinos In Slump From Increased Competition

Atlantic Ocean shore at Atlantic City, New Jersey

Image via Wikipedia

I am not surprised to learn that Atlantic City is taking a huge hit from all the recent casino development in surrounding states.  Rising gas prices and a major recession are not helping things either.

Pennsylvania, under Fast Eddie, became a gambling state.   Our casinos are spread out across the state, not all in one place.  This seems to be a better strategy than New Jersey.  10 casinos are now operating in Pennsylvania.  Atlantic City has 11. 

I am sure Atlantic City depended on throngs of people from Pennsylvania coming there to gamble and spend money.  Pennsylvania may very well pass Atlantic City as the number two gambling market in the U.S. in the years to come.  Pennsylvania casino income is expected to grow to $2.7 billion dollars in 2011 while Atlantic City’s 2011 casino income is expected to fall to $3.09 billion dollars.

The last time I drove to Atlantic City, it was a ridiculously expensive trip.  Bridge tolls, Atlantic City Expressway tolls, parking and gas made it a $50 trip before I set foot in a casino or shop.  I went down for an afternoon to meet friends from high school who were staying at a casino.  I will not be making that trip again. 

Time will tell if Atlantic City can rebound or if Pennsylvania will unseat Atlantic City as the number two spot in the U.S. for gambling.

Pennsylvania Makes Top Ten List Of US States Reducing Oil Dependence

This should make us all proud.  Pennsylvania was ranked 7th out of the 50 states for doing the most to reduce our dependence on oil.  Because Pennsylvania funds public transit systems (like PART and SEPTA) and because of setting renewable fuel standards we earned high marks.  California ranked number 1 while Alaska was number 50.  Pennsylvania drivers spend 3.4% of their income on gas, which is the 8th lowest percentage in the country!

If you would like to read the report in its entirety you may click on this link: http://www.nrdc.org/energy/states/files/Fighting%20Oil%20Addiction_NRDC_Nov%202010.pdf