MINOT — Reaching for the nozzle of a gasoline pump these days is causing a lot of harm to people’s driving habits and budgets. The price of gasoline has doubled in the past year. Worse, there are no indicators that the unprecedented increase won’t continue in the months ahead.
Gasoline hit $4.69 a gallon at several Minot locations Friday, with others almost certain to follow. At one Minot C-store several vehicles drove up to the pump as if to fill their tank, saw the price per gallon on the pump, and pulled away without touching a nozzle.
The scene has likely been repeated throughout the region as motorists seek to save even a few cents per gallon on gasoline. What used to be a routine filling of a gas tank is now cause for concern. Increasing prices is the reason.
People are paying much more for gasoline than they ever anticipated. Many are forced to decide between gasoline or other expenses common to households. It’s a nasty conundrum.
While motorists deal with pain at the pump, so do truck drivers. The diesel fuel used in semi’s was well over the $5 mark at most Minot locations Friday. A dump at the diesel pump can easily be $800-$1,000.
“It all comes down from the government. That’s all it is in my opinion,” said Dwight Mehrer, Minot, while filling one tank on his semi and watching the numbers roll quickly on the pump. It stopped just short of $400.
“Every day it’s about $800. It used to $400 or so,” said Mehrer. “Our rates haven’t gone up, but the fuel has. We can’t cut back on anything. The bank still wants the payments.”
Mehrer normally hauls in the North Dakota oil fields but makes trips into neighboring states too. The high price of diesel cuts into his profit. So does the rising cost of parts needed to keep a semi on the road.
Mehrer had some minor work done on his truck, lamenting that “parts alone was $1,000 today.”
For the consumer it means the increased cost of hauling products will eventually be passed on to store shelves.