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Out of the Past: High gas prices not all that unusual

From the pages of the Wallowa County Chieftain

Published on June 5, 2018 2:51PM

Source: Oregon AAA

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By Paul Wahl

Gasoline prices fluctuate across the years; however, the summer of 2018 is starting out with higher prices than we’ve seen in some time.

A price of gallon of gas in Enterprise last week ranged upward from $3.45. You would have to go back to 2014 for the last time in recent memory prices were that high.

Ten years ago, in 2008, the average price of gas peaked at a bit higher than $4 per gallon.

The front page of the Chieftain for June 4, 2008, edition included a story noting the bump up and the potential impact it could have on tourist season and life in general.

Terri Skilling, manager of Range Rider Restaurant in Enterprise was quoted as saying gas prices had slowed her business. Fuel charges on deliveries was also denting her profits.

An editorial in that edition pointed out that farmers and ranchers don’t have the same option shared by tourists –– their work requires a certain amount of fuel usage. It’s unavoidable.

There was no indication is subsequent editions as to whether the 2008 tourist season was impacted by the price of gas.

Fast-forward to 2018, and the possibility that folks from far-flung places will forgo trips to Wallowa County because of gas prices is there. However, the early numbers on reservations for hotels and camp sites has been strong. Business levels for Memorial Day weekend were generally ahead of last year, well ahead of last year in some spots.

How much does the price of crude oil historically impact the price of a gallon of gasoline?

Crude sold for $92.86 a gallon in early June 2012. The average price for a gallon of gas in Oregon was $4.22. Last week, crude was selling for $68 a barrel. Wallowa County residents were paying on average $4.50 a gallon for gasoline.

Going back 10 years, crude was selling for $160 a barrel in early June 2008. Gasoline prices were in the $4 a gallon range then, as well.


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