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The High Country and North Carolina Experience Highest Gas Prices in Seven Years

“The pandemic has caused a rollercoaster ride for prices at the pump,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “Gas prices plummeted in 2020 when lockdowns led to lower fuel demand, causing a glut in global fuel supplies. As a result, many countries cut back on crude production, leaving the market vulnerable to what would happen next. In 2021, vaccinations rolled out and demand came roaring back much faster than oil production, which led to fuel prices skyrocketing to levels not seen in seven years.”

In 2021, the average price for gasoline in North Carolina started at a low of $2.10 per gallon and reached a high of $3.25 per gallon (October 27).

Today on NC Highway 321, we found prices between $0.04 and $0.09 above the statewide average. The price for regular unleaded at Speedway or at Harris Teeter Fuel is $3.15 a gallon, and if you travel down to the Blowing Rock Quality Plus across from Tweetsie Railroad you will pay $3.09 a gallon for regular unleaded.

Nathan, a small business owner from Todd, was filling up his tow truck at Harris Teeter Fuel and stated, “It has always taken a lot of gas just to get to town, now it costs even more. How do they expect us to pay this much for gas?”

Bev, a single mother of two, was putting $10.00 in her minivan at Speedway. She was emotional as she said, “I have two kids and barely make ends meet. I have no support. I only have $10.00 to put in my car today. I don’t get paid until next Friday. If I run out of gas, my son might not get to school the end of next week.”

Now, the current gas price average in North Carolina sits at $3.06 compared to the national average of $3.28 is 8 cents cheaper than a month ago and $1.03 more than a year ago.

“For now, it appears these higher gas prices will hang around well into 2022,” Wright continued. “Motorists should expect continued volatility at the pump, as prices will likely ebb and flow, based on news about the pandemic and its implications on global supply and demand.”