Micah Gibson, store manager at the Kangaroo Express located at 1407 Kingston Highway, was standing on a ladder changing the prices on the station’s sign Wednesday afternoon.
“Prices just went down,” Gibson said. “This morning at five when I came in, (unleaded prices) were $3.83, and now it’s $3.71.”
Gibson said gas prices tend to fluctuate a few times throughout the day. “They just give us the prices and we make it happen,” he said, adding it’s usually about competing with nearby stations. “I couldn’t tell you why prices are high, the storms in the gulf might have something to do with it.”
Brandi Banks parked at a pump as Gibson went inside and said she was only putting a few dollars worth of gas into her vehicle.
“I think (prices) are ridiculous, they’re just hard to afford, very hard to afford,” said Banks. “It’s an economic thing, the economy is bad right now. I’d rather I lived in Cartersville though; it’s cheaper there. I wish prices would go down.”
Meanwhile at Kroger, where unleaded prices were $3.89, Mark Settlemoir watched the numbers spin rapidly on his pump and said he wasn’t aware prices had gotten quite that high.
“I just noticed it when I pulled in,” Settlemoir said. “This is $4 a gallon, just like they kind of crept it in overnight, it’s a sudden increase.”
Settlemoir, who said he has lived in Rome for the past 20 years, attempted to recall the last time prices were this outrageous.
“I don’t think they’ve ever been this high, or it’s been three or four years since I can remember them being this high,” he said. “It’s just a travesty. You’ve got to have gas. You can’t go anywhere without gas. But here in Rome, it seems like it’s always more expensive.”
He referenced Cartersville’s prices as being cheaper than Rome’s.
“You can get gas in Cartersville, just 20 minutes away, you can get gas cheaper,” said Settlemoir. “Usually it’s as much as 20-cents-a-gallon less. It’s because Rome is off the beaten path; it seems like they charge more for gas here.”
Rockmart native Shalon Wilson shook her head at the prices at the BP located at 12 Shorter Ave.
“There’s nothing we can do about it,” she said. “The government’s just going to keep jacking them up, so there’s nothing we can do but gripe about it. And griping is not really constructive, so we just have to pay for it.”
Wilson, who was putting unleaded valued at $3.83 per gallon in her vehicle, said politics contributed heavily to the rising gas prices.
“I really think it’s a way for the government to make more money,” she said. “There’re places in the U.S. where we could drill, and we could have more oil, but they choose not to do that; they choose to buy from overseas, and it just gets so high. I think it has more to do with politics, and the government wants to make more money, and that’s what everything boils down to.”
She said it’s hard on working people who have to travel to work.
“People have to have gas to live because we have to get to our jobs and everything,” she said. “It’s only going to get higher, that’s what my husband said, probably before it’s all over, we’ll be paying $5.”