Rising gas prices cause concern in Meridian

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http://prezi.com/qaogs-wiqicf/meridian-smothered-by-inflated-gas-prices/

By RJ Wolcott
Meridian Times staff writer

OKEMOS — According to gasbuddy.com, Meridian Township has some of the highest gas prices in Michigan.

Michigan has the eighth highest gas prices in the nation, sitting at $3.96. However the average in Meridian Township is closer to $4.02 or even as high as $4.12. Compare that to the national average of $3.83 and Meridian residents are paying more than most of the nation.

Numerous gas stations held steady at $3.99 on Friday, but over the weekend prices rose to more than $4 a gallon. These prices were consistent in Okemos and Haslett.

Increases have been felt nationwide but seem to have struck Michigan particularly hard and Meridian residents have not been afraid to share their opinions.

Chuck Corbin, a contractor, says that because he has contracts with Home Depot, he needs to drive all over the state.

Filling up at the Marathon in Haslett, Corbin paid $85 for 22 gallons of gas. Corbin says that because of his job, he needs to fill up twice a week.

Corbin added that when he graduated from high school in 1972, he had a 1966 Ford pickup that got 16 mpg; today Corbin drives a 2003 pickup that gets 16 mpg. He believes that is a fundamental problem and that he would really like to see hybrid pickups being made in America.

Thoughts about why gas prices are higher seem to vary from person to person. Nick and Jeremy, two out-of-state travelers from Ohio, said they believe gas prices are a result of failed governmental policies.

“Blaming problems in the Middle East is just a cop-out,” Jeremy said. Jeremy also said that he believes gas prices work in cycles and that prices will come down.

Others said that people were overreacting to price hikes.

Lisa Foote, another customer at the Haslett Marathon said, “Americans complain too much about gas prices.”

Foote also said that people should use less gas and that the United States should try to become independent of foreign oil. Foote said that even with a family, she has always had cars rather than SUVs.

But it is not just the consumers that are concerned.

David Nowlin, the owner of a BP station in Haslett, said that he believes people will cut back on things they do, but that they will inevitably come back.  Nowlin attributes gas price instability to speculation.

Nowlin concluded by saying, “We don’t need these prices in the state.”

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