Pump bill shoots to almost #036;2

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 9, 2000

Owners of cars, trucks – or even lawn mowers – might want to start saving dollars instead of pennies.

Friday, June 09, 2000

Owners of cars, trucks – or even lawn mowers – might want to start saving dollars instead of pennies. Local gas prices are on the rise again.

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Within 40 minutes Thursday afternoon, gas prices around the city increased by 30 cents, putting a gallon of gas at $1.87.

"It’s ridiculous – it’s a big hoax," former truck driver Richard Adams said concerning the increase increase.

Adams, an Ironton resident, said he used to haul gasoline for an outfit out of Michigan and that he believes gas and oil corporations have always been money hungry.

"Companies like Marathon Oil are buying out (competitors) and are trying to monopolize the business," Adams said.

That means higher prices for the working class, he said.

"It’s the guy on the fixed income that’s going to be hit the hardest," Adams said. "But it’s going to hit everybody."

Truck drivers, especially, took a hard blow when prices shot up.

"Being a businessman, I don’t like it," said Jim Morgan of J&M Towing and River City Vaults, who was filling his truck Thursday at a local station.

"(The gas increase) is costing us, on average, an extra $400 a month," he said. "I think it’s awful hard (for residents), especially in our area, with all the plants that recently shut down."

Truck drivers aren’t the only ones who are angered by the increases. Even those who drive smaller vehicles are feeling the pinch.

"It seems like it goes up every hour," motorcyclist Tim Duley said. Duley, an Ashland, Ky., resident, said no matter how much people hate the situation, they still have to pay for gasoline.

"I think it’s going to go up to $2 a gallon," he said. "I’ve just about quit looking at the prices."

Still, Duley said this recent price increase won’t keep him off the roads.

"As far as I’m concerned, I’m going to do what I want," he said. "If I’m going to take a trip, I’m going to take a trip."

There are ways for consumers to beat the higher gas prices, however.

The type of vehicle you choose to drive directly affects your gas bill, said John Wright, manager of Auto Zone in Ironton.

"Fuel-wise, any of the imports are more economical," Wright said. Japanese imports, especially models with four-cylinder engines, burn less gasoline, he added.

But even if you don’t own a smaller car, drivers can take precautions to reduce their gas usage, Wright added.

"Any driver can save gas if they keep their cars tuned up regularly," he said.

Faulty spark plugs or plug wires, clogged air filters as well as deteriorating rotors and oxygen sensors all contribute to poor gas mileage. A regular engine tune-up will keep the gas needle from dropping quickly.