Future of Gas Prices Likely Higher

Crutcher is a frustrated driver, and he's not alone when he says he doesn't understand what is prompting prices at the pump to rise.

Like many motorists Newscenter 11 has talked to over the last few weeks, he says he's very concerned about what is happening.

"I don't get it," said Crutcher. "They're going to bankrupt us all if it continues. Every week it's $30, $40, $50 more out of your paycheck that you have to put in your vehicle to get to work and back. But on the other hand, your employer isn't giving you that other $30 or $40 to make up the difference."

As gas prices continue to rise, a business analyst advises motorists to prepare for the 'new norm'.

Dr. Habib Bazyari, a retired business professor at Mississippi State University, Meridian campus, and former head of the business school at the University of West Alabama, says the first big increase is likely around Memorial Day.

Bazyari says the main reason for the rise in prices is the continued decline in supply for oil, coupled with the ever increasing demand for it.

"In the short run, we're going to have probably another spike in prices reaching $3.00 (a gallon), maybe $3.25 or $3.50 is possible. The new normal is $2.75 to $3.00," Bazyari said.

When prices peaked in the past, there was a big push to try new energy sources. That's when the use of ethanol started gaining momentum. Bazyari projects that will not last.

"Economically, it's not feasible because the energy it uses to produce ethanol is more than ethanol produces as energy," he said. "And if you use more than you produce, you go in the hole rather than helping us."

Crutcher, who spends $250 a day transporting trailers, says he needs help and soon.

'Can you continue to do this?' "No. No, I can't," Crutcher said.

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