Reporting Diana Rocco
By Diana Rocco
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Drivers across the Mid-Atlantic region have felt the pain at the pump this last week.
“It’s crazy. I just got gas here; it’s nuts. It just keeps going up, up and up,” says Jim Capelle.
David Cotto just spent $65 filling up.
“Fifteen-point-five gallons…it’s actually pretty expensive,” Cotto says.
Nationally, the average cost of a gallon of gas is up 30 cents in the last month to $3.70. That’s 11 cents higher than it was at this time last year. If this trend continues, AAA says we could be on pace for the most expensive year ever, average-wise.
“Our prices here in Philadelphia are about six cents higher than they are nationally,” says Jenny Robinson, of AAA MidAtlantic. She says that’s due to a hurricane season that’s projected to be worse than normal, both the economic and political climate and a busy summer travel season.
“Gas prices have a ripple effect all over our economy, so many goods that are transported– everything that we buy, even airlines–use gas that goes up as well,” Robinson explains.
In Pennsylvania and Delaware, drivers are paying $3.69 on average. It’s $3.62 in New Jersey.
Experts say rising fuel costs mean everything else costs more too, from produce to flower deliveries and taxi cab rides. Even charities that depend on shipping start to see their costs go up, and that means less people they can reach.
“Summer’s tough for us. We see the biggest increase in need because kids are home from school. It’s a difficult time for us to be going through this with gas prices as well as the drought,” says George Matysic from Philabundance. The Philadelphia-based food pantry feeds 65,000 people each week, but if costs continue to rise, that could change.
“It affects every part of our food chain here at Philabundance, from farmers to the way we run our trucks…even the boxes we use are actually made from petroleum as well,” Matysic says.
And as far as drivers are concerned, many who are already feeling the pinch are staying home.
“If anything, me and my wife try to cut down. I don’t see us going anywhere for Labor Day or any holiday coming up because it’s too expensive,” Cotto agrees.