Houston & Peach

Is relief in sight at gas pumps?

Motorists at the pumps: 'These gas prices, it's outrageous'

Colonial Pipeline, owner of a leaking pipeline blamed for spiking gas prices, projects service to be restored by Wednesday. But it may be several days before delivery returns to normal.
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Colonial Pipeline, owner of a leaking pipeline blamed for spiking gas prices, projects service to be restored by Wednesday. But it may be several days before delivery returns to normal.

Michael Knowles of Byron bypassed a few gas stations before filling up Tuesday for $1.92 a gallon at the Shell station at U.S. 41 and Gunn Road.

“They’re crazy right now,” Knowles said of spiking gas prices. “It’s hard finding a station with gas.”

Knowles went to three stations on Green Street that he said were without regular gas earlier in the day.

Tuesday afternoon, the Exxon station at the Bi-Lo Mart at Green Street and Houston Road had signs posted that the business was out of regular and premium.

The station where Knowles did fill up on regular gas did not have any premium for sale.

But it may have offered the lowest price on regular gas in the immediate Warner Robins area based on a random Telegraph sampling of gas prices. The highest at $2.50 per gallon was at the Pure gas station at 914 Russell Parkway.

Meanwhile, unleaded gas averaged $2.20 a gallon Tuesday in Macon, according to AAA. The average was $2.36 per gallon in Georgia, compared to the national average of $2.21 a gallon.

“I hope it will be better by the end of the week,” Knowles said.

Georgia was among several Southeastern states hardest hit by the partial closure of a leaking gas pipeline in Shelby County, Alabama.

Colonial Pipeline projects service to be restored by Wednesday, but it may be several days before delivery returns to normal.

“Motorists may continue to see spotty outages this week, but once regular fuel delivery resumes, supplies should return to normal,” AAA spokesman Garrett Townsend said in a news release. “We anticipate that pump prices will return to last week’s level fairly soon after fuel deliveries are back on schedule.”

But some consumers, like Jetty Williams of Byron, fear that prices will continue to go up regardless.

“I’m afraid, because elections are coming up, they’re gonna jack the prices,” Williams said.

Don Harris of Montezuma also thinks the leaking pipeline will only serve as an excuse to up prices.

“They said that they had some kind of gas pipeline broke but … I blame the politicians,” Harris said. “Somebody is trying to make some money from the oil companies, and this is one of their kickbacks to raise the prices to get some of their money.”

He noted that this is an election year.

“And they gonna do whatever they gotta do to keep their seat up there in Congress. But these gas prices,” Harris said, “it’s outrageous.”

Harris, a disabled veteran, used his Kroger card to take 3 cents off the posted price of $2.18 per gallon at the grocery store’s station on Russell Parkway in Warner Robins.

He said he could only afford to buy $12 worth of gas.

“It’s still too high,” Harris said. “But where I live, it’s like almost $2.25 a gallon there because I live in a small town, a small area and there ain’t that many gas pumps.”

Monday, Gov. Nathan Deal issued an an executive order reiterating state law that prohibits price gouging.

Gov. Nathan Deal reminds Georgians of a law prohibiting gas price gouging after a major pipeline that distributes gas in the southeast recently broke.

About 140 complaints have been received statewide, Nick Genesi, spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said in an email. A breakdown of those complaints was not readily available.

Motorists who suspect price gouging may report it to the state Consumer Protection Unit.

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser

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