GREENFIELD — Hancock County gasoline prices spiked to more than $3 a gallon at most stations Tuesday afternoon — a cost that’s uncommon for the area, but in line with the rising prices across the state and country.
The prices, which ranged in Greenfield from $2.96 to $3.09 as of Wednesday, have fluctuated over the past few summer months. The costs have especially been high around the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays, according to GasBuddy data reported for the Indianapolis metro area.
Nationally, the average sat at $2.87 to start the week, now just a penny more than during the Fourth of July holiday. According to AAA, gas prices were at their highest point in four years during the midweek holiday — an average of 61 cents more expensive than this time last year.
Hancock County averaged a little over $3 a gallon on Wednesday, according to AAA. That cost is about the same in Hamilton and Shelby counties. Rush County to the east averaged about $2.70 a gallon, while Bartholomew County about 50 miles south of Greenfield averaged about $2.90 a gallon.
Demand for gas remains strong week over week in the country, an AAA spokesperson said in a Monday news release. That’s driven prices higher as well as rising crude oil prices.
While fueling up his car for $2.79 a gallon at the Murphy USA station in Greenfield, Ron White said the rising costs haven’t affected his summer plans, but the Greenfield resident still doesn’t appreciate the higher prices.
“That’s money we would have spent on something else,” White said.
White said with the U.S. now producing more gas, he expects better prices. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports crude oil production in the country has significantly increased over the past 10 years. The administration predicts production will continue to grow in 2018 and 2019, setting record amounts.
Sherri (Kramer) Rouiller said while many Americans look at a more than $3-a-gallon price for gas, prices in Europe are even higher. Rouiller, who’s originally from Greenfield, lives in France and is in the area visiting her mother. She said the gas prices in France hover around 1 euro and 50 cents, or about $4 in the U.S.
Rouiller, who was filling up her rental car at the Murphy station on Tuesday afternoon, said her mother gets frustrated with the rising gas prices. She told Rouiller that the costs tend to increase on weekends, holidays and when many people take vacations. When Rouiller’s mother used to live in Florida, she said gas prices were more stable than in Indiana.
The fluctuating prices also make it difficult for people like Rouiller’s mother, who’s on a fixed income, she said.
Fortville resident Ronna Pannell drove over to the Murphy gas station on Tuesday after seeing on her GasBuddy app that prices at some stations in town jumped 30 cents in a few hours.
Pannell said the higher prices haven’t affected her daily commute or summer plans so far. She said when she did travel this summer, the prices weren’t as high as they are now.
“I have no choice (but to pay),” Pannell said about the rising gas prices. “I have to go to work.”