Stillwater News Press

Local News

July 1, 2014

Gas prices sting, but won’t stop Fourth travel

STILLWATER, Okla. — More than 460,000 Oklahomans are expected to hit the highway this weekend for the Fourth of July. Those travelers will face high gas prices.

The average fuel price is the highest it has been on July 1 in the past six years, according to a AAA report. Oklahoma’s average price for self-serve regular fuel is 6 percent higher than this time last year. Chuck Mai with AAA Oklahoma attributes the rise in gas prices to problems in Iraq and the Middle East.

“Speculators are betting that world oil supplies will be cut as a result of the violence,” Mai said. “They’re hoping the price will go up and they can sell at a profit.”

The past few days have actually seen a small drop in gas prices. Although it’s still at a high, the cost for gas in Stillwater decreased by one cent in the past week.

Mai doesn’t have any predictions about future oil prices.

“It’s impossible to say,” Mai said. “I’d feel more confident telling you who is going to win the World  Cup. So many things can happen that will have an impact on oil.”

Despite oil companies raking in more money than they have at this time in the past six years, Mai said it is not expected to affect travel over the holiday weekend too drastically. AAA Oklahoma’s recent survey revealed the upward prices of gas but no trend of a dramatic increase.

“I think this is still good news for folks who are planning family road trips,” Mai said. “A few extra cents per gallon isn’t going to keep most people home.”

Drivers have differing opinions about gas prices. Joni Jeffrey said if she had plans for the holiday, the cost of gas would definitely have an impact. However, Gail Lamb said fuel cost would not sway her if she had plans with family. Lamb lost her teenage son on the Fourth of July and realizes the importance of family.

“If it’s a long trip and I’ve got it planned I’m going to go,” Lamb said.

For drivers who are preparing to fill up and brave the holiday traffic this weekend, Mai has a few tips to help stretch your dollar.

He urges drivers to shop around at gas stations and find the lowest price.

“We recommend people ask their neighbors, friends and co-workers where the cheaper gas is,” Mai said. “The raw product is very good gasoline. Whether you buy it at Jim’s Quick Stop or Conoco, you’re still getting basically the same fuel.”

It is also important to be sure your vehicle is road worthy and capable of a trip. Little things, like properly inflated tires, improve fuel economy.

“A well-tuned car will use less fuel,” Mai said. “Doing those simple things before you leave home will really help your gas mileage.”

AAA Oklahoma also has a website,, that lists city, state and national gas price averages.

This is helpful for drivers taking an extra long road trip to compare prices and plan the best place to stop for fuel. The website is free.

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