Gas prices go up in the tri-state as problems in the Middle East continue to rise

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Gone are the days when gasoline prices could be narrowed down to that simple economic principal of supply and demand. With petroleum supplies traded on the commodity market, the influence of world events is causing gas prices to rise.

"Well there is both upward and downward pressure right now, by far the biggest factor driving prices up right now is unrest in the middle east," said Thomas Vaughn, AAA.

According to the White House, the United States' addiction to foreign oil and fossil fuels puts the economy, our national security and our environment at risk.

In fact, as much a 66 percent of all U.S. crude oil is imported from other countries according to government figures.

Another reason for the rising gas prices is the civil unrest in Libya.

"Now the U.S. only uses on 5 percent of Libya's oil, but the concern is the un-rest in the middle east will spread to other oil rich nations upon with the U.S. relies more heavily on," said Vaughn.

Residents in the tri-state find the situation is uncontrollable and frustrating.

"It's force-fed and you've just got to accept it," said Barry Young, driver, "How you gonna fight it."

The price of gas in Cincinnati has increased 40 cents in just one month.

"Right now in Cincinnati the average is about $3.54 cents a gallon of regular, which is right on the national average," said Vaughn.

Rising fuel prices come as Americans are again hitting the road. Americans drove a total of 3 trillion miles last year, the most since 2007 according to the Federal Highway Administration.

"Everything we do oversees always raises our gas prices," said Young. "They always have that excuse to raise gas prices and the consumer will always feel that and that's what the American people are all about: paying the bill."

Some members of Congress have another take on who is to blame for gas prices rising.

"Less production, higher gasoline prices, more jobs being shipped overseas and deeper dependence on foreign countries," said Doc Hastings, Washington Congressman, "They are real results of this administrations polices.

No matter what the reason, analysts say oil and gas will continue to get more expensive, especially with our dependence on foreign oil.

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