Thanks Libya: Tri-Staters Bracing As $4 Gas Nears

Sen. Schumer Suggests President Tap Into Petroleum Reserves

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Because of the unrest in Libya, oil prices briefly touched $100 a barrel Wednesday for the first time since 2008. It’s a development that’s expected to have a ripple effect on prices across the board.

Fasten you seat belts and tighten your purse strings because the cost of just about everything is about to go up even higher. Say thank you to Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse. The economy was just starting to brighten, starting to look a lot better and then we get this real serious instability in the Middle East,” Beth Heinsohn of the Oil Price Information Service told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

The uncertainty in Libya, which is a major oil exporter, has already contributed to a 60 cents per gallon hike in home heating oil prices and a 50 cents per gallon jump in gas pump prices in the last three months. But that’s just the tip of the nightmare consumers will face. Experts said the cost of everything transportable — produce, bread, meat, groceries, clothing and most other retail goods — will skyrocket in the blink of an eye.

How high will prices go?

“I have seen increases of 5 to 10 percent. Companies could keep it to that. If they add in transport I guess another couple of percentage points,” Hernsohn said.

“It is outrageous that what happens in Libya affects New Yorkers and Americans at the gas pump, but we’re always subject to that to the vicissitudes of these foreign dictators and everybody else if we’re still dependent on foreign oil,” Sen. Chuck Schumer said.

The long-term solution, according to Schumer, is to explore natural gas and nuclear power, but the short-term solution may be for President Barack Obama to release some of the nation’s strategic petroleum oil reserves.

“The question is will it be effective? And if it will be effective we should use it. It takes a few days to figure out the patterns. And the study it works to prevent a spike. It doesn’t work over the long term because there’s not enough oil in it,” Schumer said.

And as oil prices continue to rise, here’s a frightening statistic: economists estimate that every $1 rise in the price of a barrel of oil adds about two and a half cents to the price of gas, and as gas goes up so does the cost of everything you buy.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reports from Westchester County

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams got a lay of the land up in Westchester County on Wednesday. Gas was $3.59 on the Merritt Parkway in Greenwich, $3.63 on the Hutchinson River Parkway in Harrison, $3.65 in Scarsdale, and $3.99 on the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx.

A year ago in the New York City area, gas prices were closer to $2.88 per gallon.

The bargain of the morning was discovered in Tarrytown where it was $3.47 a gallon.

Livery driver Larry Farrah said he pays for his own gas, so he shops around.

“I go out to Jersey a lot, so I save some money out there,” Farrah said. “I mean, other than that, there’s nothing you can do,” he added

One man said his summer could be quiet: “Weekends, I just stay home… I don’t go out if I don’t have to.”

With the unrest in Libya, any oil production loss can be absorbed by larger suppliers like Saudi Arabia.

But the fear is that political upheavals in the Middle East will spread, and that has analysts worried about a major oil supply disruption down the road.

Annoyed we’re held hostage by the Middle East? Offer your thoughts below.

More from Marcia Kramer
  • bill

    our government will use any excuse to raise the prices,..whats next…someone farted in the middle east…lets raise gas prices again

  • Mr. Armenia

    Sure blame other countries

  • T Sturniolo

    Gas prices were on the rise long before Libya, tunesia and Egypt….The writer must not drive

  • infowars

    Jeez, does anybody really believe any longer that this stuff happens by accident? This is ALL by design – the whole thing.

    We are ALL being manipulated by a small handful of the powerful elite who control all this type of activity. These are people who make Mike Bloomberg look like a homeless pauper.

    We have all been lulled to sleep over the years and need to wake up NOW.

  • sandbagged

    While Obama squires his corpulently obese wife around the town, we have to pay through the teeth to fill up our SUVs. A real president would start as many wars as it takes to keep gas below $2.00/gallon. If God didn’t want us to have cheap gas, He wouldn’t have loaded all those dinosaurs onto Noah’s ark.

    • oswald

      But how did Noah stop the T-Rex’s from eating him & his family. I saw Jurassic Park and those suckers are nasty.

  • Jonathan

    Great, now your local pizza joint will raise the price again for a slice of pizza, and your bagel will go up too. And of course, when oil prices drop, their prices will stay the same. Can’t wait to pay $3.00 for a slice!

  • yogi2112

    Obama 2010-2011 = Jimmy Carter 1977-79… I’ts Deja Vu all over again…..

    • dottie

      you got it…..And guess what, natural gas is a bad option…fracturing done by wells poison the water supply!

    • PM25

      Now thats the best comment I’ve seen yet…good historical parallel is it not?

  • Tom J.

    Um, OK. I’ll now trade Blood for Oil.

  • Mr. Armenia

    I saw $3.75 for super on the Palisades Parkway


    The world is slowly amusing itself to death

  • Care to comment, Mr. Obama?

    Canada supplies the most oil to the U.S. Is there a revolution going on up there that we aren’t aware of?

  • Eric

    I owned a ’69 Lotus, — had 35 MPG!

  • smokersodysseycom

    In the 60s I had an Audi with 23 MPGs, 5 bucks a gas and I was good for the week. Back then I believed that by now we would be in the 60 MPG or better range. But no, that never happened because Detroit has been in bed with big Oil. The dumb advs on TV are still offering U.S. 23 MPGs. Will they ever get a clue? There’s only one guy out there with something in the 40s and methinks it’s Ford. If I were in the market for a new car, I wouldn’t even consider anything less. The technology is out there, it’s about time they used it.

  • Colin Sauners

    now you will know what it’s like to buy gas in Canada, same prices as we pay.

    • bill

      aint our fault u live in that cesspool

  • Bigbrostyx Walls

    When is this sort of thing ever going to end?How much does those whom think they’re in charge feel the people will take?God knows this has to stop!

    • drny

      You don’t have a right to cheap gas!

  • Richard

    Here we go again! Grease the Americans up. We get to pay a higher price for Oil and gas we don’t get any part of. All Lybian oil and gas goes to europe! And we get the price increase????? They provide 2o/o of the fuels in the and we get a 25 o/o increse????? Another greed story by the oil companies.

  • Andy

    I think obama has been the president for the last 2 years, Bush will be dead and you people will be still blaming him for things

  • TJ

    These Middle Eastern Countries that we depend on for oil, depend on us for food. If the Oil Companies did not have our Government bought and paid for, we could be paying a dollar a gallon for gas!!!

  • Bushelfoote

    Tesla…. The future of Electric Vehicle Tech is here NOW…..The Tesla model “S” is a viable answer to todays fuel economy vehicles…..250-300 mile ranges can MORE than accomodate consumers demands on a daily basis…..Style,Performance,and Interior Comforts all in one electric car….. Fully Recharges in an hour or less…..relax with a cup ‘o joe while “filling up” or sleep tight with overnight charging….This car won’t worry you about the price of oil in some far away 5 mile deep hole in the ground,Competitively priced…..BUY AMERICAN,Put Americans to Work……

    • CSI

      Whos going to pay 100,000 for this car?

  • Geraldine Rodriguez

    GWBush was so succesful for his oil buddies. He was elected to get the oil prices up and he did it!

    • steve

      when he left office gas was $1.85 a gallon. Look now Obama=PRESIDENT $3.50 a gallon and rising!!!!

      • boogie

        The last time gas in this country was $1.85 …..A person named WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON…..was leaving office…not W….gas was still over2 a gallon when W left….sure it was falling….republicans wanted to look good going out the door…..Republicans still have their hand in the oil jar everybody has forgotten that….The key is and has always been demand……Remember when everybody wanted mid size and mammoth SUVs to drive..especially in New York and other major cities in this country???? The oil companies know this which keeps demand high When i was growing up my parents drove small cars…..we need to reduce our demand as a nation its the only way to somehow keep these gas prices in check

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