You're paying more at the pump, here's why

Drivers who have filled their tanks lately may have noticed the price at the pump has gone up. The American Automobile Association has been tracking the cost of gas for decades. They said the reason for this increase has to do with the COVID-19 vaccine of all things.

As of Wednesday, the average cost of a gallon of unleaded is hovering around $2. That's up about 4 cents from the previous week.

Crystal Jones has certainly noticed.

"I just keep on driving until I find something a little bit cheaper," said Jones.

The price has a lot to do with the pandemic. In the spring, when so many people were sheltering in place, the price dropped dramatically. Garrett Townsend with the AAA said that was all about supply and demand.

"When demand was driven down by lower volume of people on the road, you saw those prices start to shrink," said Townsend.

Townsend said this increase is due to the COVID-19 vaccine.

"What we're seeing as far as crude oil prices is this growing market of optimism that there's a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon," said Townsend.

Townsend said the only reason drivers are not seeing even higher prices is because of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

"Many states are seeing a surge in the virus, so demand is down. Not as many people are getting out right now. It's almost like a balancing act we're seeing," said Townsend.

Like many people, Ernie Marton is working from home and doesn't have to fill up as often these days. But he said he doesn't mind paying a few extra cents a gallon if it's really a sign that there's a vaccine that will get us through this pandemic.

"Optimism is always good, hope is always good. Hopefully, this vaccine will get going and we won't see another wave like some other nations are seeing," said Marton.

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