Ok. We all know the unfortunate circumstances that caused Hurricane Ike to hit the Galveston area. In the hours leading up to the turmoil, people in the Atlanta area decided to totally freak out -- similar to the way they freak when the word "snow" comes into the forecast. Except instead of buying all the bread and milk off the shelves, they went and bought up as much gas as they could.
Basic price / demand from my Economics class came into play. That, and some gas stations decided to make a few extra bucks on the gas. One station was charging $5.25/gal at one point. They decided to back down to 4.51, but that price was about $1 more than it was the day prior.
Even with the insane gas prices, people still decided they wanted to hoard up as much as they could in the event the Gulf region of Texas decided to not exist anymore after Ike. As if the US's entire gasoline supply comes from Texas. This resulted in several area gas stations running out of gas. There's a BP down the street from where I live that hasn't had gas since Saturday. With it being Thursday, I REALLY feel for them.
My sister lives in MA. Their gas is at least fifty cents cheaper than here. Since they're further away from the carnage, they didn't decide to freak out and are still reveling in "almost decent sounding" gas prices.
Shortly after I moved here, I remember seeing gas at 72 cents a gallon. It cost me less than ten dollars to fill up my tank. It's now more than five times that price, and is REALLY hurting my wallet. I'm all for alternate forms of energy. My next vehicle will be a hybrid. But something has to be done to help alleviate out wallets.