Friday May 27th, 2022 5:50PM

N. Georgia motorists feeling the pain at the pump

By Jonathan O'Brien Anchor/Reporter
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With market analysts blaming Russia's invasion of Ukraine, drivers in North Georgia have no choice but to pay big at the pump. 

"I don't like it, but there's not much you can do about it; you've got to have gas," said Chris Walker, who spent $59 filling up his car with mid-grade gasoline at the BP on Thompson Bridge Rd. in Gainesville. "That's a lot more than it used to be." 

One driver paid $4.15 a gallon for premium.

According to AAA, Georgia's statewide average went up six cents to $3.45 per gallon from Thursday to Friday. 

On Friday, the reported a national average was $3.57. 

"We have to brace ourselves to certainly be paying more money at the pump," AAA Georgia's Public Affairs Director Garrett Townsend told AccessWDUN. "Gas prices are very sensitive to factors, such as what's happening in the international scene." 

He explained this is similar to what happens when the cost of gas goes up following a hurricane in the Gulf. 

"It's hurting," said Allen Jernigan, who came to fill up his son's Jeep at the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Thompson Bridge Rd. He said the vehicle gets about 14 miles to the gallon. 

Another local motorist, Janice Gardner, came to Walmart in search of a better price. "It was $3.45 [in town], and I got here, and it was $3.22," Gardner said. "But even $3.22 is high." 

Gardner explained that she tries to limit how many trips she takes to save gas. "You deal with it, and you just do what you've got to do," she said. 

Even though analysts blame the war in Ukraine for causing an upheaval in the global markets, some residents blame President Biden. 

"I think it's been since this new administration has been in office," said Donna Anderson, who drove to Gainesville from Lumpkin County. "It's $3.39 there." 

Another driver, Dwight Schwartz, believes if the U.S. had continued to drill for oil here, "our prices would not have gone up as much as they did." 

Most of the people expressed sympathy for the people of Ukraine. "They're gonna get run over by a bulldozer is no doubt in my mind," said Tony Powers, a resident of Barrow County. "They are valiant people; they'll stand and fight but bless their heart, they don't have much of a chance." 

Garrett Townsend with AAA said it's hard to predict how high the prices may go, but we should expect them to climb. 

Oil producers convert to the so-called summer blend during March and April, which Townsend explains raises prices at least 15 cents per gallon. 

"Look at where we are now, add another 15 cents and then the volatile market with crude, $4 a gallon, that's probably not going to be out of the realm of possibility," he warned. 

You can find more resources on saving money at the pump from AAA's website here. 

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