GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's another milestone you don't want to reach — oil prices surging past $110/barrel for the first time in a decade. That's making your trip to the gas station even more expensive, with a couple West Michigan cities seeing the highest weekly increases in the country.
Some experts don't see it slowing down any time soon.
“I can’t even afford to Dash right now because it’s so expensive," said Nancy Pittner, who was filling up her tank at a gas station in Grand Rapids Thursday.
Pittner is unemployed, but drives for Door Dash to earn some money. However, with gas prices skyrocketing this week, she's forced to make a decision — stay home and save money, or drive around and pay the price.
“It makes it hard for you to get by and make a decent living, if you’re a Door Dash-er or something like that," said Pittner. “Your profits are eating up in the price at the pump.”
Pittner said she pays exactly $30 every time she goes to the gas station. Usually, that gets her close to a full tank, but now she can't even get halfway there.
Matthew Thomas, who works for Pro Am Collision & Mechanical, an auto body shop in West Michigan, is feeling the hit too.
Pro Am services a wide area from Grand Rapids to Muskegon. That forces Thomas to fill up the work vans twice a week. Pro Am also refuels the cars they fix.
Thomas said all those extra costs are getting passed to the customer.
“If you’re seeing an extra charge on your cards, it’s potentially for fuel," Thomas said. "That’s just due to having to move cars around the lost, as well as between different businesses for parts. That comes with a charge.”
These prices have all grown exponentially in the last week alone, as a result of the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the growing sanctions against Russia.
READ MORE: Ukraine conflict could send U.S. gas prices soaring to $4/gallon
“There’s a lot of uncertainty as it relates to what may happen," said Howard Hughey, an AAA spokesperson. "Along with uncertainty comes a lot of these price fluctuations that you see.”
According to GasBuddy.com, average gas prices in Michigan are rising to $3.89/gallon. That's one day after a Gas Buddy report showed two West Michigan cities — Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo — had the highest week-over-week increase of any city in the county, at +44c/gal and +42c/gal respectively.
This comes on the heels of gas prices already increasing because of supply chain issues, inflation and the easing of pandemic restrictions.
“Prices have been, sort of, lower, for so long," Hughey said. "Now that we’re all getting back to normal and we’re getting these prices, we want to go more places, we want to travel more, we want to commute more, see folks that we haven’t seen in some time. Then, all of a sudden, prices are as high — at least from a barrel standpoint — than they’ve been in over a decade. That has to be shocking.”
AAA said the current average in Grand Rapids is $3.76/gallon. That's more than a dollar higher than this time last year, when Grand Rapids was at $2.73/gallon.
Gas Buddy said it's only going to get worse before it gets better, forecasting national averages up to $4.25 in May, before finally dropping at the end of the year.
Patrick De Haan, an oil and refined products analyst with Gas Buddy, said in a tweet Thursday, "We are raising our forecast for the yearly national average to $3.99/gal from $3.41/gal, with the average household to spend $2,745 on gasoline, up from $1,977 in 2021."
That's tough news for people like Pittner.
“It’s a struggle out there for everybody right now," she told FOX 17. This don’t help.”