• Gas expert points to refinery maintenance for rising gas prices

    By: Jim Strickland

    Updated:

    DORAVILLE, Ga. - Gas prices in metro Atlanta continue to climb toward $4 per gallon.

    AAA says the average Atlanta price is up more than 40 cents in a month. Half of the increase came in the past week.

    "Do you think it'll go to $4?" consumer investigator Jim Strickland asked driver Stacy Austin.

    "Absolutely. I don't see how it can't," she replied.

    "I'm sure you will pay $4 at your nearby gas station very soon," said fleet fueling executive Adriana Acevedo of PS Energy Group in Dunwoody.

    Acevedo tracks wholesale prices at Doraville's gasoline terminals. The price, before taxes and transport charges, hit $3 for the first time since Oct. 12.

    "We have seen that for the previous years, this is a time (of year) that gas is up," Acevedo said.

    Acevedo said the Gulf refineries that make Atlanta's gas are beginning to shut down for maintenance and to switch over to summer gasoline blends.

    Strickland found $4 gas already hitting the suburbs -- at a Texaco in Kennesaw, where he spoke with driver April Moss.

    "You know there's gas cheaper, like right up the road. Why you pumping $4 gas? I just got to ask," Strickland asked Moss.

    "Because I was on empty," Moss said.

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