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Local News

Cold weather heats up gas prices again

February 9th, 2007 9:48 pm by KEVIN CASTLE

Drivers find that gas prices in Kingsport have jumped 16 cents in a week's time. Pictured are cars at the Sunoco in Colonial Heights. Ned Jilton II photo.


The arctic clipper that brought frigid temperatures to the region resulted in higher gas prices, according to AAA East Tennessee.

The organization is reporting that concern over a continual winter grip on the country, and a possible nuclear arsenal in Iran, sent crude oil prices on the rise.

Gasoline prices, which had dipped in the last couple of weeks to their lowest rate in more than two years, increased accordingly.

However, AAA's public relations director, Don Lindsey, says the fallout could have been a lot worse.

"Fortunately for consumers, retail prices have not risen as much as they could have based on crude oil prices,'' he said. "Analysts think gasoline sellers have been drawing down on supplies built up over the past several weeks, delaying price increases."

A check of gas signboards across the Tri-Cities shows that prices in Kingsport experienced a sharp 16 cent increase in regular unleaded in a week's time, according to AAA, with the price at the pump currently at $2.04.

Stations in Bristol continue to maintain unleaded prices under $2 a gallon, but just barely, at $1.99, an increase of nine cents in the last week.

Johnson City saw the lowest increase over a week's time with prices on regular unleaded just going up 3 cents at $1.99 a gallon.

The tensions over Iran and cold snaps across parts of the nation sent crude oil over $60 a barrel Friday on the open market for the first time since early January, according to the Associated Press.

Bitterly cold weather recently in the U.S. Northeast - which represents 80 percent of the nation's heating oil demand - helped lift oil prices 19 percent since Jan. 18, when crude touched a 20-month low of $49.90.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continues to forecast below-normal temperatures across the Northeast until at least Feb. 22.

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