The Charlotte Business Journal is reporting that the average price for a gallon of gas in the Charlotte area has risen to $3.21.
Oh, yawn. Right? What do we care? We're Americans. We'll put that shit on our credit cards. Let the rest of the world spin into chaos; we're too busy with the kids' sports, yoga, walking the dog and picking our toe jam to care about anything outside of our offices or living rooms.
Meanwhile, not even the Saudis can tame oil prices:
The political turmoil sweeping the Arab world drove oil prices sharply higher and stocks much lower on Tuesday despite efforts by Saudi Arabia to calm turbulent markets.
The unrest that has spread from Tunisia to Libya pushed oil prices to a two-year high and has spurred an increase in gasoline prices. The specter of rising energy costs and accelerating inflation in turn unsettled investors.
Oil is now at a price not seen since the recession began, and it is more than $20 above goals set in recent months by Saudi officials as strong enough to satisfy the top producers but not so strong they might suffocate the global economic recovery.
Although there are still plentiful supplies of oil and gasoline in the United States and in much of the world, American consumers are now paying an average of $3.17 a gallon for regular gasoline, a steep rise of 6 cents a gallon over the last week, according to the AAA daily fuel gauge report. With consumers paying roughly 50 cents more a gallon than a year ago, analysts are warning that prices could easily top $3.50 by the summer driving season.
Higher energy prices act like a tax on consumers, reducing the amount of discretionary purchasing power that they have, said Lawrence R. Creatura, a portfolio manager at Federated Investors. It represents an additional, potential headwind for retailers.
Read the rest of this New York Times article, by Clifford Krauss and Christine Hauser, here.
Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.