SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – As you may have noticed, gas prices here in the Upstate have continued to climb over the past month.
“This price right here is too high. Right now, we’re at $2.59 a gallon,” driver Joseph Whitson said. “Typically, we’ve been somewhere around $2.19 over the past several months; so, this increase has really been a big hit to my pocketbook.”
Many Upstate drivers who’ve stopped to fill up their tank have seen higher numbers at the pump here recently.
“Before the election, gas was reasonable,” driver Glen Platt said. “It was less than $2.00 a gallon, and you see where it is today. It’s a big difference and a lot of families can’t afford it.”
President of Dearybury Oil & Gas Company, Inc., Bill Dearybury, told 7 News the increase is mostly fueled by the severe weather we had in Texas during February.
“There were 44 refineries that were down at one point in Texas,” Dearybury said.
Dearybury told us, because the majority of gas in the southeast is supplied by the Gulf of Mexico and refineries in Texas, we’re seeing an impact here at home. The weather put pressure on suppliers and drove up demand.
“Materially, our industry has been massively affected by that snowstorm,” he said.
And Dearybury told us the re-start process for refineries can take days or even weeks.
“I would treat it like a 1945 race car,” he said. “You don’t jump in it, start it, and go 80 or 90 miles an hour. You have to let it warm up.”
Not to mention, many gas companies try to be proactive, buying gas before events like the one in Texas.
“They want to keep fuel for their customers, and they want to buy as much inventory, and once you get inventory gone, then you start to see the price hikes,” Dearybury said.
And we’re not the only ones seeing the spike.
“I can tell you that people in South America and people in Mexico are feeling it, too, because some of their fuel is sourced from the U.S.,” Dearybury said.
But Dearybury told us, hopefully, the refineries in Texas will be back up and running like normal in the near future.
“The curve looks pretty good,” he said. “There’s nothing out there that would suggest that people are going to be paying astronomical prices–at least these storm-level prices–in the foreseeable future. At least everybody hopes not.”
He has a message for drivers who have plans to hit the road and are concerned about the price of gas.
“Just keep your eye on Texas, and as long as Texas can keep making their comeback, they’re going to be okay,” he said.
If you’re looking for the cheapest gas prices in the Upstate, click here.
Dearybury wants to give a special “Thank you” to truckers who carry fuel, saying they’ve put in a lot of hours recently, making sure gas stations have that fuel, and he said they deserve some credit.