Local gas prices jump overnight

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Gas at Dave’s Place in Lewiston was at $2.75 Friday morning.
Gas at Dave’s Place in Lewiston was at $2.75 Friday morning.

Maine Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com
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LEWISTON — The price of gas in Maine has hit its highest mark in 2017, and the rising prices at the pump seemingly took hold overnight.

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A news release Friday from AAA Northern New England said refinery and pipeline shutdowns resulting from Tropical Storm Harvey have caused what they predict is a “short-term” spike in prices. 

During the morning commute Friday, residents in Lewiston and Auburn woke up to see that prices had climbed yet again. Some local gas stations have seen prices jump by as much as 40 cents in just a few days. 

According to GasBuddy.com, a website that tracks national gas prices, the national average on Friday was $2.52. In Maine the average price was $2.49, which was 6 cents higher than Thursday and 12 cents higher than one week ago.

Customers at Dave’s Place on Sabattus Street were filling up as normal on Friday. The prices there have gone up by about 40 cents this week. Many customers said the high prices affect their job. 

“It’s affecting my work,” said James Chouinard, who spends the day scrapping metals and other materials for cash.

He said the higher the prices are, the more costly it is for him to drive his pick-up truck in search for material. Instead, he said, he waits for people to call him. 

“I can’t go running around looking for it anymore,” he said. “It’s the only way I can balance off the price of the gas.” 

The manager of Dave’s Place, who declined to give his name, said he hasn’t heard any complaints from customers so far. He said the owners and managers of gas stations and convenience stores “have no choice,” and that each day brings different prices. 

The price as Dave’s Place, which was $2.75 on Friday, was among the highest in Lewiston and Auburn. The store gets its gas from Sunaco. 

The manager said much of the price differences depend on when stores get deliveries. Depending on the time, or who’s delivering, prices can change and sometimes dramatically. He said in the last few days, the price had risen from $2.34.

“If the gas is out, we have to buy,” he said. 

An Associated Press article Thursday said the increased fuel prices were likely to climb “after Colonial Pipeline, the largest U.S. gasoline conduit, was forced to shut its main diesel line late Wednesday and planned to halt its gasoline line Thursday because about half of Gulf Coast refining capacity was offline.” 

“Consumers will see a short-term spike with gas prices likely topping $2.50/gal, but quickly dropping by mid to late September,” said Dan Goodman, manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England in the news release. “AAA does not expect refineries to be offline for months, as early reports indicate minimal to no significant damage to Corpus Christi and Houston refineries.” 

“I blame Trump,” said Heidi Asselin while gassing up Friday, referring to President Donald Trump. 

She said she believes his foreign policy, combined with the hurricane’s impact on the south, have created an even larger price spike. Asselin also said there may be some localized price gouging going on. 

Asselin also needs her car for work, and said that while she gets reimbursed for gas from her employer, sometimes the reimbursement price is slow to catch up. 

She stops at Dave’s Place routinely, and said she had noticed earlier this week that gas prices were steadily climbing in the area. She looked up at the bright red letters that read $2.75 and said, “Oh my god! I didn’t realize it was that much.” 

arice@sunjournal.com 

“No wonder I couldn’t get through the week with a tank of gas at that price.” said Justin Murphy of Lewiston after looking up at the price of gas while filling up at Dave’s Place in Lewiston Friday morning.
“No wonder I couldn’t get through the week with a tank of gas at that price.” said Justin Murphy of Lewiston after looking up at the price of gas while filling up at Dave’s Place in Lewiston Friday morning.
“No wonder I couldn’t get through the week with a tank of gas at that price.” said Justin Murphy of Lewiston after looking up at the price of gas while filling up at Dave’s Place in Lewiston Friday morning.
“No wonder I couldn’t get through the week with a tank of gas at that price.” said Justin Murphy of Lewiston after looking up at the price of gas while filling up at Dave’s Place in Lewiston Friday morning.

Gas at Dave’s Place in Lewiston was at $2.75 Friday morning.
Gas at Dave’s Place in Lewiston was at $2.75 Friday morning.

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