PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Right as those Christmas shopping bills are coming due, consumers are faced with an increase at the pump.

Prices are up nearly 20 cents a gallon just from last month.

“‘Happy holidays.’ It’s only going to get worse. You have to call your congressman to let him know what you think,” Linda DellaRocca of Center City Philadelphia said.

John Hofmeister, an ex president of shell oil, argues increased oil demand in Asia could drive prices to $5 a gallon in 2012.

“It’s going to put tremendous upside pressure on the crude oil prices which is the only way to tamp down demand. It’s very worrying for consumers and the American economy,” he said.

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In 2010, According to AAA, gas prices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware all have gone up from where they were 1 yr ago, roughly 50 cents a gallon.

“I don’t know what I make of it. It’s just upsetting,” Pamela Columbus of Collingswood NJ said.

There are other energy analysts who doubt prices will hit $5 a gallon.

Citing what happened a few years ago when prices cracked $4, drivers started changing their habits demand dropped and so did the prices.

Reported By Todd Quinones, CBS 3

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