Columbia drivers deal with rising gas prices

Sunday, February 24, 2008 | 8:16 p.m. CST; updated 1:19 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Gas prices reached their highest point since the summer this weekend, and relief might not come quickly.

The cost of unleaded gas Sunday was $2.99 all across Columbia, 78 cents above the price one year ago, according to, a Web site that tracks prices across the state.

The price of gas in Columbia was in line with the state average. It was the most expensive gas has been in Missouri since July, when prices climbed to more than $3.06.

Missouri was still well below the national average of $3.14 Sunday, but prices were exactly that high in Branson.

While experts expect prices to fall in the next year, the Energy Information Administration speculates that the nation’s average gas price could be as high as $3.40 by this spring, according to the administration’s Web site.

The rise in cost has most people looking forward to better days.

In Columbia, Ron Govorl, a 30-year-old graduate student, filled up his tank at Phillips 66 on Providence Road.

“I don’t do a lot of traveling,” Govorl said. “But when I do, I don’t like paying this much.”

Others have gone after unique alternatives.

Melanie Jianakoplos, a 21-year-old student, said she bought a Schwinn Scooter when she came to school.

“It gets 112 miles to the gallon,” said Jianakoplos. “It’s really good for the environment.”

Some people, however, aren’t letting the high prices change their lifestyle.

“Gas prices wont affect my driving,” said Mike See, a 56-year-old thoracic surgeon, who pumped gas into his Mercedes at Phillips 66 on Nifong Boulevard.

He puts 40,000 miles a year on his car.

“I have 120,000 miles on it now, and I plan on putting on 80,000 more,” he said.

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