Record Crude Oil Prices Impact Multiple Industries - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Record Crude Oil Prices Impact Multiple Industries

By Leland Kim

WAHIAWA (KHNL) -- Hawaii drivers prepare themselves as gas prices are expected to spike once again.

"It's hurt all of us, but what can we do?" asked Phil Singh, a Pupukea resident.

Crude oil prices hit another record high today, settling at $108.75 a barrel.  Analysts say a weaker dollar is partially to blame.    

Pumping gas is something drivers have to do about once a week.  But record crude oil prices mean gasoline problems could go even higher, and the impact spreads to other industries.

This is a weekly ritual for anyone who has a car.  While gas prices have remained high, expect them go even higher.

"It's nothing you and I have control over," said Singh.  "We have to drive most of the places we have to go."

"Well, it's something we have to have, so can't help it," said Robert Soma, a Wahiawa resident.

The reason?  Record crude oil prices, at almost $110 a barrel.  As the dollar drops in value, crude oil prices go up because crude becomes less expensive to other countries.

Besides impacting the cost of what you put in your car, rising crude oil prices also affect the cost of maintaining what you drive on.

Cost to repave our roads goes up because oil-based products are used in the job.

"In the last two years, we noticed rising oil prices have affected our repaving work," said Scott Ishikawa, a department of transportation spokesperson.

Ishikawa says the department of transportation spent about $120 million in the past four years repaving Oahu roads, and that cost to the state could go up.

"There is a provision for contractors where if asphalt prices go up by five percent during the work, we have to cover the extra cost," he said.

Tesoro, the only supplier of asphalt on the island, acknowledges rising crude oil prices affect the price of asphalt. While relief doesn't seem to be in sight, Hawaii drivers remain hopeful.

"We want it to go down," said Singh.  "It's like playing ‘Deal or No Deal.'  You know, on the low side."

Hoping for some relief on the long road ahead.

The Federal Reserve could lower interest rates again, which could make the dollar fall even further.  And analysts say oil price could climb even higher.

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