Fuel experts: Highest Labor Day weekend gas prices ever - FOX 13 News

Fuel experts: Highest Labor Day weekend gas prices ever

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Gas prices are up an average of 20 cents per gallon from Labor Day Weekend 2011. Gas prices are up an average of 20 cents per gallon from Labor Day Weekend 2011.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Now that the Republican National Convention has come and gone Tampa Bay residents can finally relax.

With the Labor Day Holiday weekend upon us some folks are hitting the highway. Others, however, pull up to the pump, see the harsh reality and think of other things to do.

"Seems like it keeps climbing," said local driver Jessica Schnebly. "It's [gas] always going up."

Officials with Triple AAA say travelers this Labor Day are going to face the most expensive fuel prices we've ever seen this time of year.

Why is that?

Hurricane Isaac's recent trek through the Gulf of Mexico forced some refineries to shut down and that's part of it.

A recent national survey indicates that gas prices are above $3.80 per gallon. That's nearly 20 cents higher than it was at this time in 2011.

In Tampa, it's about $3.75 per gallon, 20 cents more than it was 12 months ago.

Lori Buchardt commutes to Tampa for work. The cost to fill up her vehicle is putting a nasty gash in her budget.

"I live in Pinellas County and I work at the airport," Buchardt explained. "I have to drive 30 miles everyday 15 here 15 back, so it's killing us."

Fuel experts predict gas prices should start dropping soon as the idle refineries come back online and the peak summer driving season winds down. Many consumers say the sooner the better.    

"I'd be OK with $3 a gallon; this getting up to $4 a gallon, I'm a working stiff," Buchardt sighed in frustration.

As bad as it is here in the Bay area, be glad you're not living in Hawaii. A gallon of unleaded gas costs an average of $4.34.

Is it just because the owners of the oil companies are greedy? That's what Buchardt things.  

"Why are the gas companies making all these billions of dollar a year?" she says. "If they're making all that money why can't they give us a little a break?"

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