By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer
Oil prices are on the rise again.
Crude oil prices are at $96.08 per barrel according to Oil-Price.net, and the site stated this year’s forecast predicts a rise to $110 per barrel.
According to AAA, gas prices have risen for 32 days straight. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline increased more than 13 percent over the past month to $3.73 gallon.
Escalating oil prices can affect everything from gathering, processing and transportation of food to the price of commodities including asphalt and other chemical products.
Sometimes city budgets are cut forcing officials to scale back on street maintenance and other improvement projects.
Gainesville city manager Barry Sullivan said that the current city budget for Gainesville amply covers any increased costs associated with the elevating gasoline prices.
“We planned the 2013 budget to cover any extreme spikes in prices,” Sullivan said. “ If we need to adjust it, we have the capability to do so.”
Sullivan also sees a bit of a silver lining in the increasing price of crude oil.
“Usually when oil prices are high, the Gainesville community does quite well with sales and maintenance contracts of oil industry vendors based in this area,” he noted.
In an article from CNNMoney, Ray Carbone, president of New York commodities trading firm Paramount Options said, “Refineries are going down for maintenance.
With supply decreasing and demand increasing going in to the driving season, prices are up also.”
During the summer months gasoline is configured differently so the refineries shut down operations for production in order to adjust to the different formula.
OPEC, the cartel of oil exporting countries, has cut production by an estimated one million barrels a day during the past few months as oil production rises in other parts of the world.
This is expected to have a greater impact on American workers at this time because most of the American workers are taking home less pay each week.
In 2011, President George Bush and the Congress worked together to lower the payroll tax for the first $113,700 of annual earnings.
This would keep more spending money in the pockets of American workers.
This in theory would boost the economy with more expendable income. Those tax cuts expired in January.
This March may also see spending cuts in jobs and services as potential federal programs are slashed as Congress attempts to cut $85 billion this year from the budget. It is not just oil prices that rise.