Drivers Say The Idea Of Summer Vacations Just Disappeared

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — With the unrest in the Middle East, some economists say $5 a gallon gas will become the norm.

At first you might have thought your eyes were playing tricks on you, but they weren’t. Gas prices hit $4.99 for premium in Stamford on Wednesday, reports CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport.

“I feel like … oh god!” said Janet Alfonseca of Greenwich.

“Horrible. Who’s making all that kind of money? Not us,” said Bill Loftus of Worcester, Mass.

If there is one saving grace to the near-$5 price, you do get a free drink with a fill-up at the Shell station in Stamford.

“I shouldn’t have a car. I should buy a bike. It’s disgusting,” Alfonseca said.

Drivers say it’s all part of a bad situation that’s getting worse. The average price of a gallon of gas in Connecticut now is $4.09, compared to a year ago when it was $2.97. In New Jersey it was $3.83 on Wednesday, compared with $2.69 a year ago. In New York, a gallon of gas is now averages 4.03, compared to $3 a year ago.

“It’s worse now. You can’t survive. There is no way to pay the gas and it could get worse,” said Gene Cantave of Stamford.

Robert Sinclair of AAA New York said with the situation in Libya and Syria so volatile future prices of $6 – or more — for gas by summer could be looming.

“We’re seeing mainly fear, fear that there might be interruptions in supply because of tensions in the Middle East,” Sinclair said. “The sky’s the limit. They’re paying $8-$9 a gallon in England. Who knows where it could go?”

It’s not just affecting the way we feel, but the way we drive.

“It’s ridiculous and it’s getting worse. You can’t go anywhere,” said Sarah Small of Jackson, N.J.

A lot of motorists Rapoport talked to said skyrocketing gas prices have forced them to change their driving habits — and their lifestyles.

“At home we don’t drive unless I have to,” said Dave Gamble of Stafford Springs, Conn.

“Any time I don’t have to drive I don’t,” added Eric Goldstein of Stamford.

“Basically, it’s just work and home,” said Anthony Demond of Stamford.

Sinclair said there are some things motorists can do to save money and gas … sort of.

“You can combine your errands with your commute. You can keep your vehicle on optimum condition to save gasoline but the savings are really gonna be negligible,” Sinclair said.

It’s not like we haven’t seen $5 a gallon at the pump before — as recently as 2008. It was just something we never wanted to see again.

“It’s a lot of money. A lot of money,” one driver said.

How fed up are you? Are your summer travel plans going to change? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (41)
  1. Why Vote Obama says:

    We owe china some much money its not even funny

  2. Pedestrian says:

    Obama is not going to get re-elected

  3. Phil says:

    So when does this EMPIRE want to Fall? The american people I think have had enough. These criminals have to go! The greed is way out of control. You know the comerical? “I want my money an I need it now!” Well how bout this, I want the greed the stop, or we are going to stop it now!”

  4. Billy says:

    The Government is going to ruin our economy and cause a depression, because merchants like me have to pass that expense onto customers and therefore merchandise and services will have to be inflated.

  5. john c says:

    It is everyones fault. We knew peak oil was coming since the 70’s. Oil is finite and our economic system is based upon infinite growth. Stop trying to spread the blame. We need to get away from non renewable recourses (like we should have done 30 years ago). The track we are on now is unsustainable and the oil era that has fueled the growth of the earth for the past century is over. Get used to it.

  6. Don says:

    Everyone’s in denial. Everyone’s looking for someone else to blame. No one is taking responsibility. No one will protest against the War in Libya, because they refused to believe the truth about Obama.

    I still see enormous SUVs idling their engines in perfectly nice weather. I still see most cars driving way over 55 mph on the highway, which causes the biggest drop in gas mileage.

    Stop being such spoiled wimps. Toughen up America!

  7. L. Woods says:

    Fuel or food? Medicine or food? Do I pay my rent or do I eat? Real questions that many americans are having to grapple with every day! The carnage is about to beset us all! The income disparity is ever widening; the violence is this country will become so pervasive and palpable until Marshal-Law will be declared with an order to “SHOOT-TO-KILL!) Mark my words!

  8. jerseyjoey says:

    Sounds like they are Happy with the threat of high gas, well so be it then and watch the spending stop the recovery Die and black market flurish along with massive layoffs and a revolution coming, now I know why the rich and corp america have been buying gold like crazy, because the dollar is dead, Bye Bye americans you lost it all because of liberalism and corp greed.

  9. dp says:

    I take the train to and from my Mon – Fri day job …but on most weekendsI work as a musician and travelling to and from shows will really be expensive. In the past, when offered a show I have never given much thought in the past to the price of gas but it now needs to be calculated into the decision making process..

    A very sad state of affairs …. our government has once agian failed us.

    1. Oilbama says:

      Funny how CBS reporters stirred up the Bush-Big Oil rhetoric when oil went over $100 under Bush, and now that their pet president is in office, it’s only because of middle east tension. Didn’t Obama take money from Big Oil too?

  10. Shanaenae Nubbins says:

    How I fill my Escalade now? Dag.

  11. Adam says:

    Oil companies make 8-10 cents a gallon? are you kidding? ExxonMobil and the other companies REGULARLY make BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in revenue and they pay the least amount of taxes possible!! yes, you cant blame them for abusing the tax code when there is an opportunity to do so legally. what i say is this government needs to stop all of this abuse of the everyday citizen and return to their natural free enterprise and not controlled socialism! open up drilling in the coast of the USA, open up the strategic reserve, talk about fixing the economy, our military action in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, where it is not warranted has not only raised out national debt to 13 trillion dollars in less than 15 years, but it has led to the highest poverty level this nation has ever seen. DOnt you think those 13 trillion dollars would be better spent on other things such as infrastructure, tax breaks FOR COMPANIES THAT ACTUALLY KEEP OPERATIONS IN AMERICA ( i support globalization btw) and not tax breaks for corporations that dont facilitate American economic growth, but rather they abuse it. Maybe this $6.00 gas will open peoples eyes up, and everyone will open their mouths and let these politicians know they have a duty to think about their constituents and not the big corporations who will fill their wallets up. is that too much to ask for?

  12. Dr. Roxo says:

    Fortunately I don’t have to drive to work. Best of luck to everyone else.

  13. RobT says:

    This station is a poor example, they’re crooks! The station across the street sells gas for at least $0.40 a gallon less. Gas was $4.00 a gallon at that Shell when the BP across the street was $3.55. Why anyone buys gas there is beyond me.

    1. Hiran says:

      Rob, there maybe a small price difference in station here and there. But you can’t deny the fact, gas prices are rising. Reminding us of 2008, how gas prices went up and then came the recession in summer. Again when things are slowly getting back to normal, we’re hit with price increases!!!!

      1. RobT says:

        Yes prices are rising, but this station has been consistently selling gas for $0.40 a gallon more then any other station in the area for years. Not $0.04 but $0.40. That’s they real story here.

  14. Bell Toller says:

    President Obama must put an end to these gas prices.

    Even Al Sharpton can help.

    The gas prices are a violation of our civil rights

    1. Decolat says:

      Gasoline, and the cars that need it, are a privilege. Gas is a commodity, and is not covered in the Civil Rights Act. Gas prices are not a violation of our civil rights.

  15. Hiran says:

    Last time it hit $5 gallon, we all know what came next: the big recession we’re not 100% out of yet. Just when economy is slowly picking up…… again it comes. Is history repeating itself???

  16. David_From_Brooklyn says:

    For all those applauding the gas hikes: remember, anything affiliated with oil, which is nearly every thing now or days, goes up as well. Food (transportation and fertilizer costs), plastics and its derivatives, electricity, heating oil and anything with the wording “poly”. So, while Europe certainly has higher gasoline prices and smaller cars, their cost of living is quite high. If oil prices keep climbing, you will truly see the destruction of the middle-class.

  17. HUGO says:

    Obama wants to drive gas prices as high as possible so he can force his horse and buggy agenda on America. He will not be satisfied until the USA is a third world country.

    1. ip says:

      100% agreed

    2. Scarlett says:

      Read Al Gores book..Horse and buggy comes from Al Gore.

    3. Banana Republic says:

      I hate to tell you this Hugo, but we’re already a third world country. The Income disparity in this nation is already at the same level as Honduras

  18. voiceofreason says:

    maybe people will lose weight and actually walk places or ride a bike

    1. jtorres says:

      You ever try riding a bike in 3 inches of snow? Or on the New Jersy Turnpike 40 miles to The Bronx? Like I have to do every weekend. I got news for you,Voiceofreason, just because it may work for you, doesn’t mean it’s a viable solution for all of us. And by the way, I weigh 120 lbs

  19. liz says:

    you are kidding right? 5 bucks a gallon – it is bull s–t! POLITICAL BULL S–T. What a joke. we are all getting ripped off left and right!!!!

  20. John V. says:

    I agree with Victor. we’ve had it very easy for a very long time. I blame the politicians and the american public ( both parties) for not developing a energy policy 30 – 40 years ago during the embargo. No we are at the mercy of multiple foreign countries. Pathetic this whole situation is. we’ve got noone to blame but ourselves

  21. WhyDoIReadIdiotRants says:

    ym, doc, anikonov: You three are the biggest morons completely and utterly unaware of the realities of Earth, economics, and common sense. Unfortunately, idiots like you three slime their way into legislative positions. Smh…

  22. Rod in says:

    I don’t drive so I don’t care. And if you love the environment, you shouldn’t drive either. And don’t buy anything that has to be driven in.

  23. Hen Stern says:

    we pay 9 dollars in London what’s the problem i wish it would be 5 dollars a gallon here

  24. Jacki James says:

    the unrest in the middle east is only one reason why gasoline is going up and it will be food -heating oil -clothes

    other reasons manipulation by oil future dealers
    and the politicians in dc and else where

    how can an economy recover with everything going up

    On the other side maybe less driving will help save Planet Earth

  25. ym says:

    Since competition is not working to keep gas prices down, nor are efforts such as driving as efficiently as possible, nor can people afford better mileage vehicles, maybe the government should take over the gas companies for the benefit of ALL the people in the US. Or, maybe the US needs the major economic scare of everyone not using their vehicles one or two days a week, not buying anything on those two days, not even a cup of coffee from the local drive to vendor, but especially gas, and see how the big firms react to a little bit of self sacrifice that hits their obscene profit margin. Hmmm. I wonder what the air would be like with two days a week without additional pollution….

    1. lottoman1990 says:

      Instead of complaining about the oil companies that make about 8 to 10 cents a gallon, start yelling at the states tax on gas that equals about 44 to 69 cents a gallon depending on the state, and the federal government that gets about another 17 cents a gallon. If the government took over the oil companies we would be paying $10.00 a gallon. Name one thing other than the military the goveernment does well.

  26. doc in NJ says:

    thank goodness I don’t have to worry bout gas prices anymore!!

  27. doc in NJ says:

    thank goodness I don’t have bout gas prices anymore!!

    1. Poopdeckpappy says:

      Doc, I think you’re on another kind of juice.

      1. doc in NJ says:

        I don’t speak Staten Island, sorry…

  28. Hans says:

    Would love to pay that in the Netherlands.
    We’re on $ 6.50 a gallon.

  29. anikonov says:

    Would oily barons and oily speculators care if 3/4 of the country dies out? I do not think so.

    There is a need in public court hearing! The aforementioned people are enemies of the state.

  30. Victor Beube says:

    We have been living in a dream world for some years now. All Europe has had high gas prices for years. Norway on purpose so that they operate cars that sip not gulp gas. Now it’s are turn. Welcome to reality.

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