Just a few months ago I stopped at a local gas station to put fuel in my truck. I was actually kind of amazed at the time at just how inexpensive it was to fill up the rather large fuel tanks that my vehicle is equipped with. Fast forward to yesterday, I was at the same gas station but this time lamenting just how much money it cost to fill those same tanks. You've probably had similar thoughts.

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Higher gas prices are a sore subject around much of the nation. Here in Louisiana, higher gas prices are a true double-edged sword. None of us like paying extra money to put fuel in cars but we are keenly aware that if the price of gas gets too low then that usually means oil prices are low. In our part of the world, oil is an economic engine that drives jobs and a lot more so low oil prices usually mean a downturn in our economy.

However, oil prices have been doing anything but dropping over the past six months or so. In fact, as of very early this morning, West Texas Intermediate was $80.34 a barrel and Brent Crude was $83.61 a barrel. That's a far cry higher than the $30 and $40 per barrel the oil patch was getting just a few months ago.

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The increase in oil prices has meant a jump at the pump. It's actually been a pretty sizeable jump. If you recall February's Winter Storm in Louisiana, the price of gas right after that storm was averaging $2.46 a gallon. As of two days ago, the average price for a gallon of regular fuel in the state was now $2.97 a gallon.

That is basically a .50 cent increase or if you have a 20-gallon fuel tank on your vehicle you're now paying about $10 more for a fill-up than you were back when it was cold.

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Oil industry experts are telling us that we shouldn't expect any great price drop in the price of gas anytime soon. The nations of OPEC have already met and decided against increasing production. Sol, three dollars a gallon gas is coming and it's probably going to get here before you want it to get here.

It's been about seven years or so since drivers in Louisiana had to pay more than three bucks for a gallon of regular gas. Most experts agree that not only is that about to change, but it's also about to stay changed for quite a while. If it makes you feel any better, even at $2.97 a gallon Louisiana gas prices are still .30 cents lower than the national average. 

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