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Friday, December 19, 2014
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Published: Saturday, 5/31/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

Gas prices up to $3.99 at many Toledo-area stations

Local fill-ups cost more than the U.S. average

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER
The Speedway and BP stations on Talmadge Road near the I-475 interchange both had regular gasoline priced at $3.99 per gallon Friday, as did many shops. The Speedway and BP stations on Talmadge Road near the I-475 interchange both had regular gasoline priced at $3.99 per gallon Friday, as did many shops.
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Danyale Brown of Toledo was flabbergasted when she approached the Shell station at Monroe Street and Secor Road on Friday afternoon and saw its price of $3.99 per gallon for regular unleaded gas.

“I was going to pass by it,” Ms. Brown said, until she noticed all of the surrounding stations were charging the same.

“This is usually one of the cheapest places,” said Ms. Brown. “I don’t believe this.”

She’s one of many unhappy local drivers this week.

Gas prices in the Toledo area are about 20 cents higher than the national average.

And they’re almost 30 cents higher than the local price at this time last year, according to statistics provided by AAA.

Many stations in the Toledo area on Friday were charging $3.99 per gallon for regular unleaded gas, the highest price so far in an increase that began at the start of Memorial Day weekend.

The average local price Friday was $3.872.

Danyale Brown fills a vehicle at the Shell station at Secor Road and Monroe Street on Friday. Danyale Brown fills a vehicle at the Shell station at Secor Road and Monroe Street on Friday.
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But nationwide, the average was $3.661 per gallon, according to AAA.

“You really have to calculate what you’re going to do,” said Ms. Brown, who has three teenagers. “You have to plan your doctor’s appointments with other errands. I’m thinking about taking the bus; it would be cheaper.”

Motorists in Ohio on average are paying 20 cents more per gallon than the national average, said April Cochran, vice president of membership, marketing, and public affairs for AAA Northwest Ohio.

“We’re not really sure why this is,” Ms. Cochran said. “It’s very rare for it to happen.

“Historically, we find that prices start to rise around Memorial Day. The answer is usually that there’s a higher demand.”

The highest recorded average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the Toledo area was $4.167 on May 4, 2011.

In a written statement this week, AAA blamed volatile gas prices on rising tensions in Ukraine and Libya, which has driven up crude oil costs.

Toledo resident Mike Elle, who was paying $3.99 per gallon at Gas and Express Mart at the corner of Detroit Avenue and I-75 on Friday, wasn’t buying that explanation.

The Kroger and Shell stations at Secor Road and Monroe Street were both charging $3.99 a gallon for gasoline on Friday. The Kroger and Shell stations at Secor Road and Monroe Street were both charging $3.99 a gallon for gasoline on Friday.
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He said he believes the prices have more to do with greed, not “geopolitical tensions.”

Mr. Elle, who owns M & M Tire Shop at 330 W. Central Ave., said the higher gas prices can have a devastating effect on lives and hurt businesses.

“It changes a lot,” said Mr. Elle, who was borrowing his sister’s minivan on Friday because it was cheaper to drive than his Hummer.

“You have to decide if you’re going out and going without food or other things. You’re making life decisions.”

Some Toledo-area gas stations did offer lower gas prices Friday.

Costco at 3425 W. Central Ave. in West Toledo and Sam’s Club at 1300 E. Mall Dr. in Springfield Township were charging $3.59 per gallon early Friday.

Northwood’s Circle K, 4562 Woodville Rd., was selling regular unleaded gas for $3.67 per gallon at about 9:30 a.m., and Maumee’s Sunoco at 732 Conant St. was charging $3.69.

Several gas stations along I-280 near the Ohio Turnpike — Love’s, TA Travel Center, Petro, Pilot, Fuel Mart, and Flying J — were charging $3.68. That area southeast of Toledo is often thought to have some of the area’s lower prices.

Sunday — for the first time this year — motorists in three states paid $4 or more per gallon. Hawaii was at $4.37, California at $4.12, and Alaska at $4.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.



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