ESCANABA - Consumer frustration continues following a recent spike in gas prices locally, in many places throughout the state and across the nation.
Gas prices in the Escanaba area hovered near the $4.20 per gallon mark this morning, with no signs of letting up in time for the busy summer travel season.
According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, Thursday's Michigan average for regular-grade gasoline is $4.23 per gallon, which is up about 31 cents from a week ago, and up 47 cents from a month ago. It's also a 56 cent leap from last year at this time, when the state average was $3.67 per gallon.
Patti Gallagher of Escanaba fills up her vehicle at the Escanaba Holiday Gas Station Wednesday morning. Gallagher is one of many consumers growing increasingly frustrated with rising gas prices. (Daily Press photo by Jason Raiche)
Michigan's average is approximately 60 cents more than the national average, which currently sits at $3.63 per gallon, a number up from $3.56 per gallon one year ago.
The state currently ranks among the highest in the nation in terms of state average fuel costs, along with Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, and Hawaii.
"I think they're nuts," said Don Anderson, of Escanaba, while filling up his vehicle Wednesday morning. "The country's gone crooked."
"It's a losing war," added Jesse Farkas, also of Escanaba. "They do what they want and you gotta buy gas so you're stuck."
Karen Ziebell, also of Escanaba, blames the oil companies for the sudden increase in price.
"I'll be spending less money on gas. Don't expect me to travel," she said.
Others are turning to alternative modes of transportation, such as Patti Gallagher, who lives about 10 miles outside of the city of Escanaba.
"I bought a really nice road bike so when it's nice out and if my schedule's convenient, it works really well," she said.
Gallagher questioned why gas prices are rising so dramatically, but noted the higher prices haven't really impacted any of her travel plans this summer as she plans to stay in the area for most of the time.
However, she said the impact of higher gas prices affects everyone.
"It definitely makes your budget tighter no matter what - no matter who you are," said Gallagher.
For more information on the most up-to-date daily state or national fuel averages, visit AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report at fuelgaugereport.com.