Hawaii Could See Record Gas Prices

Dave Anderson
Dave Anderson
Francis Pimmel
Francis Pimmel

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Hawaii, like the rest of the country, is starting to feel the effects of the recent gas price hikes.

On the Big Island in Hilo, drivers are paying $3.25 for a gallon of unleaded gasoline, according to the Automobile Association of America.

On Maui, drivers in Wailuku are paying a whopping $3.61 a gallon. That's up five cents in a month.

And on Oahu, Honolulu drivers are paying $3.19 a gallon for regular unleaded. That's up ten cents in a month.

Analysts predict gas prices will go up an additional 20 cents in the next couple of weeks. That means we could see near record prices just before the busy holiday season.

Average gas price is up about eight cents on Oahu, and about a dime on neighbor islands in just a week.

"I'm not surprised at all," said Francis Pimmel, a Mililani resident who was pumping gas at a Union 76 station in Kalihi. "It will go further up. People just don't complain too much."

The jump has forced folks to change their driving habits.

"Sure it affects me but I don't use the truck that often," said Pimmel. "I try to keep it down as much as I can; use the other car if I can. Only use the truck when I have to load or whatever."

The recent increase and the predicted 20-cent hike in the next couple of weeks have small business owners concerned.

"We run five full size trucks because we haul a lot of gear, a lot of weight," said Dave Anderson, an Ewa Beach resident who operates a high rise window cleaning service. "That 20 cents will probably equate to about another $20,000 for us next year, which we either got to eat or pass along to the customers."

Gas price on oahu is hovering in the high $3.10s. Costco had some of the cheapest prices on the island, $3.05 for regular unleaded gasoline. Not surprisingly, they had the longest lines.

Still, some say the fear of record gas prices is not enough to satisfy Americans' thirst for driving.

"They like big. Big is better," said Pimmel, who is originally from Germany. "That's the mentality in this country; they don't care about how much it costs."

But some are considering major changes in how they get around.

"I think about it more and more," said Anderson. "In fact, we're thinking about moving to the other side of the island, and getting some horses."

Gas prices are up about 80 cents from a year ago. If analyst predictions are correct, this trend could break record gas prices set this past spring.