Pain at the Pump in Ohio as Gas Prices Keep Climbing

By Michael Sakal
Michael Sakal
Michael Sakal
Michael Sakal is a former reporter for The Epoch Times.
March 10, 2022Updated: March 10, 2022

The price of gas keeps going up. How high it will go, nobody knows. But one thing is for sure—it had been going up in price for the last several months, and now, the United States won’t be purchasing barrels of oil for it from Russia.

On March 8, hours before President Joe Biden placed a ban on Russian oil imports because of its continued unprovoked attack on Ukraine, people were pulling up to the pumps in southwest Ohio to put in all they could in the tank before it goes up again and again. For most of them, it was the first time they had paid $4 a gallon for gas.

As gas prices started trending to more than $4 a gallon throughout Ohio on the evening of March 7—for the first time since 2008—motorists were becoming increasingly unhappy and preparing for cutbacks in their budgets.

Many are calling for Biden to open up the Keystone Pipeline and issue more permits on leases for oil to be found on public land so the United States could return to energy independence, but for the most part, they are disgusted.

Some also see the rising costs of gas as the current administration’s push of the American worker to purchase electric vehicles.

Epoch Times Photo
Gas at a Speedway station in Brookville, Ohio near Dayton, was $4.09 a gallon for regular unleaded and $5.09 for premium on March 7, 2022. (Michael Sakal/The Epoch Times)

The average price for a gallon of gas in the United States is now $4.17, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), but experts are predicting that it could reach $7-plus a gallon in the near future. Gas in California ranges from $6.95 a gallon for regular unleaded and as much as $7.55 for premium grade. Premium-grade gas in Ohio is at $5.09 a gallon in most places.

On March 1, a gallon of gas at a Speedway station in the west Cleveland suburb of Lakewood was $3.59. The next day, it was $3.69 a gallon, and the day after that it was $3.79.

On March  3, gas cost $3.81 a gallon at a Speedway in the northwest Ohio college town of Bowling Green and a little later that evening, it was $3.84 there.

Gas prices in Southwest Ohio near Cincinnati started experiencing more than $4 a gallon the week of March 1.

Epoch Times Photo
With the rising cost of gas, Kelly Lundvist says she will need to cut back on everything else. (Photo courtesy Kelly Lundqvist)

When Kelly Lundqvist pulled up to a Speedway station in Vandalia, Ohio, north of Dayton on March 7 and saw the $4.09 a gallon price for regular unleaded, she said her heart sank.

“I was quite surprised, and frankly, quite sad,” Lundqvist told The Epoch Times.

Lundqvist owns a home cleaning and downsizing business in Dayton and it requires her to drive a fair amount. She said she is starting to spend about $50 a week on gas.

“Actually, seeing the price of gas keep going up made me sick to my stomach and nauseous,” Lundqvist added. “I’ve had to cut back on everything.

“We need to continue working on the Keystone Pipeline that our president took us off and put a stop on,” Lundqvist added. “We could drill for oil in the gulf just off of Texas or in Oklahoma where there is American soil and American oil.”

For Craig Shephard, who lives in the Dayton area, he was putting 10 gallons of gas in his 2014 Honda Civic at a British Petroleum station in Brookville north of Dayton.

Shephard, who was not happy about paying $4.09 for a gallon of gas,  told The Epoch Times that his Civic gets about 40 miles per gallon.

An AutoCAD technician, Shephard said he last paid $3.71 a gallon but is preparing to tighten his budget.

“I think we can lay all of it at Biden’s feet and what he did on his first day in office,” Shephard said of the state of affairs in the United States. “They [the left] were all giddy about their war on American energy. Less than three years ago, the United States was energy independent.

“I wish the administration would issue more permits for leases,” Shephard said referring to public land that could be investigated for oil.

“They say there are 9,000 leases in the United States. This administration likes to limit permits when it comes to drilling for oil. They’re very disingenuous when they say they are doing everything they can to get the price of oil down. I haven’t had to tighten my belt or cut anything from my budget, but I see that coming.”

Epoch Times Photo
Teri Turner at a Speedway station in Brookville, Ohio on March 8, 2022.  (Michael Sakal/The Epoch Times)

Less than a mile down the road, Teri  Taylor who lives in Union, was putting $10 of gas in her Ford Taurus at one of two Speedway stations in town. She said it was the first time she paid more than $4 a gallon for gas.

Taylor said was just getting off work from her job in logistics at ODW, a distribution warehouse for children’s shoes.

“We have to have it,” Taylor, 62, said after she put gas in her car. “I’ve been looking at alternatives, but I don’t know what I’ll do, yet. ”

She told The Epoch Times she just lives about 15 minutes from her place of work but is considering moving closer because of gas prices.

“When I started driving [in the late 1970s], gas was 75 cents a gallon,” Taylor said. “When it went up to a $1 a gallon, I threw a fit. Now, I can’t go anywhere. The world is a mess. I think Biden is dealing with what he’s been given. I never did like Donald Trump.

“Right now, I’m making my own vanilla at home to make food with,” Taylor added. “I’ve been making my own clothes, including the hat on my head. I’ll be growing my own food and vegetables, too. That’ll be a good way to make sure chemicals aren’t in them. I’ve cut back on food and clothes.”

Epoch Times Photo
Jose Sanchez, a truck driver for Old Dominion Freight Line, is pictured on March 8 after filling up to go to Chicago. (Michael Sakal/The Epoch Times)

Jose Sanchez, a truck driver for Old Dominion Freight Line, fills up two gas tanks (155 gallons total) every day at the company’s expense, but he drives a 130-mile round trip in his 2012 Honda Civic to pick up his truck five days a week before he drives a load to Chicago.

“I used to fill up my car for $32—and that wasn’t that long ago but now it costs $51 to fill up,” Sanchez told The Epoch Times.

“I’m not happy about it, but I hope gas becomes more affordable again. Sometimes, you have no choice but to deal with what you have, but there are other people out there struggling worse,” he said.

“I haven’t had to make any cutbacks, yet,” Sanchez added, “but I see that coming.”

At the other Speedway in Brookville across from the BP station, Chad McCarty was about to leave in his Chevy Silverado pick-up truck.

He drives 28 miles to work each day and wasn’t as much worried about driving a large vehicle, but he’s an avid fisherman.

“I’m really worried about the fishing season,” McCarty said of the rising gas cost. “I have a boat that has a 30-gallon tank.”

McCarty said he fishes every weekend in the summer but may have to cut back on that.

“This isn’t going to be good,” he said.