Feb. 16 - Gas prices are on the rise well ahead of the spring driving season- costing drivers and businesses more than a few pennies and a lot of pain at the pump. Bobbi Rebell reports.
From the pump- to the pocketbook- Americans are feeling the pain. Gasoline prices are on the rise- up 12 cents in just the past 3 weeks according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey. And for this time of year- that's unusual according to Robert Sinclair of AAA: SOUNDBITE: ROBERT SINCLAIR, MANAGER, MEDIA RELATIONS, AAA NEW YORK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This the highest price in February that we have ever seen. A combination of factors- probably the most important of which is the fact that we are seeing all this tension in the Middle East with the so called fear tax with the worry that their might be some interruption in supply in the near future and that makes traders bid up the price of crude oil and with that the price of gasoline." REPORTER BRIDGE: BOBBI REBELL, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: Here in New York City- The taxi drivers are among those feeling the pinch where the higher gas prices siphon off their profits. NASSARELDIN HAMET, NYC TAXI DRIVER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Every week it goes up 5, 8 cents a gallon. Last week we have about $3.79, $3.69 now $3.91 $3.97 some places go $4 you go pump gas. It's been ridiculous for the taxi drivers honestly. But the frustration is broad. According to Decision Economics, for every penny rise in the price of gasoline, one billion dollars comes out of another part of the economy. Right now demand is actually low- mainly for seasonal reasons. But prices are expected to keep rising, and to stay higher when demand picks for the summer driving season. SOUNDBITE: ROBERT SINCLAIR, MANAGER, MEDIA RELATIONS, AAA NEW YORK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It is estimated that there are probably 7 out of 10 jobs have some sort of direct or indirect connection to people traveling- they travel, they eat, they shop they do all sorts of things and that leads to people being employed. " But with wages stagnant- a higher price at the pump could have political implications as the election nears. Bobbi Rebell, Reuters.