March 16, 2021

Local delivery driver feeling crunch of rising gas prices; AAA says many factors at play

Local delivery driver feeling crunch of rising gas prices; AAA says many factors at play

Jim Garrity explained that many factors contribute to changes in the cost at the pump

(WKBN) – Last year, Mark Bowman decided to quit his job and go full-time delivering for GrubHub, Uber Eats, Door Dash and Amazon this year. Unfortunately, he said the increase in gas prices has affected him severely.

“I used to be able to fill up a tank for $30 to $35. Now, every fill-up is like $40 to $45, and I have to fill my tank on a daily basis because I use a lot of gas driving,” Bowman said.

Bowman said the prices were low when no one was driving, but in the last couple of weeks, they’ve gone up. Around this time last year, gas was on average $1.99 a gallon and now it’s on average $2.72.

The increase in travel is one reason Jim Garrity from AAA cites as to why the price at the pump has gone up. The rollout of the vaccine is giving people the confidence to travel more. He also said one of the largest factors is the price of crude oil at $64 to $65 a barrel.

“It’s about 50 to 60 cents of every dollar you spend at a pump, so when you see crude oil going and down up a dollar here, a dollar there, that can have an impact. Since the beginning of the year, crude oil was up almost $20,” Garrity said.

Traveling is something Bowman hopes to do this summer, even if it might cost a little more to do so.

“Just got to work a little bit harder to pay for that extra gas,” Bowman said.

OPEC and its partners also extended a production cut for crude oil until April, which affects the price, according to Garrity. The production cut was started last year due to the low demand for crude oil.

“Even though at the moment we’re seeing an increase in the demand for crude oil, so with that increase and speculation knowing there’s going to be a tightening supply, that also brought prices up,” Garrity said.

Garrity also said refineries will be going offline soon for maintenance and to get ready to make summer blend gas, which is more expensive for them to make because of the additives needed to help the gas evaporate less.

“If there’s anything we learned from 2020, it’s don’t rule out the unexpected,” Garrity said.

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