Pain at the pump returns with gas prices on the rise

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – After enjoying weeks of decline, gas prices across the state are on the rise once again.

Gas prices in the United States peaked in the month of April, trending weekly at $3.92 per gallon, before beginning that downward trend, a trend that halted just last week.

So what caused the prices to reverse direction? According to AAA, the rise can be attributed to two factors: European sanctions against Iran and the plan to save the euro.

Tensions with Iran were more obviously affecting the gas prices at the beginning of the year, but as tension ceased, the cents were falling off, says AAA spokeswoman Jessica Brady.

European sanctions against Iran went into effect on July 1, in light of their concerns that the country would close the Strait of Hormuz and disrupt the global oil supply during talks with the United Nations about their nuclear efforts.

Around the same time, leaders in Europe decided it was time to deal with their debt crisis, and just the announcement of a plan, hinting that fuel demand may increase, pushed the price of oil to $88 a barrel last week, Brady says.

"If gas went up a dime a gallon, over twenty gallons, that's two bucks," said Wall College of Business Professor Mark Mitchell. "That shouldn't affect our vacation plans, but it has a psychological effect on us."

Mitchell says the price may be rising in the Myrtle Beach area, with some areas already at $3.10 a gallon, but compared to other areas it could still be a good deal to fill up.

"Even if I overspend by a dime per gallon," Dr. Mitchell said, "I'm still paying a buck or a buck and a quarter less per gallon than folks pay elsewhere."

So whether you're hitting the road or enjoying your staycation to the fullest, WMBFNews.com has you covered with a list of the best gas prices in your area. Check out where you can get the cheapest tank of gas before you hit the pavement.

Log on to the WMBF News Facebook fan page and let us know what you think about the current gas prices. Are you more or less likely to take a summer vacation?

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