Syria crisis takes toll on gas prices

Syria crisis takes toll on gas prices (Image 1)

The threat of a strike on Syria by U.S. allied forces created a spike in gas prices overnight.

The average price of a gallon of regular gas rose nearly two cents across the country, up to $3.56.

Tennessee is 20 cents cheaper at $3.36 per gallon, but the Metro Nashville area is only 10 cents cheaper at $3.45, according to the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge.

The increase came just as the Labor Day weekend got underway.

AAA, North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, estimates 34 million people will travel between Thursday, August 29, through Monday, September 2, with the heaviest travel expected on Friday and Monday.

Roughly 85 percent of those will travel by automobiles.

Prices rose sharply in the days leading up to the holiday, with local average prices spiking 10 cents in the last week.

The crisis in Syria was being blamed for the overnight increase early Friday morning. However, analysts believe the prices will hold steady through the holiday weekend.

Syria is not a major oil producer, but the threat of violence across the Middle East could impact costs in the days and weeks ahead.

The price per gallon could reach $3.60, according to Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the online site

The situation may be all too familiar for motorists, who saw a similar uncertain world market around the July 4 holiday, when unrest in Egypt and violence in Libya sent gas pricing soaring.

Travelers aren't expected to cancel their trips because of gas prices, but they could spend less on other things like dining or shopping.

Despite the recent rise in fuel prices, drivers are much better off than last year, when the national average for gas prices reached a record high for Labor Day at $3.80 for a gallon of regular.

As of Friday morning, at least two local gas stations were selling fuel for $3.20 per gallon of regular, 15 to 35 cents less than the state and national averages respectively.

Those stations were Kangaroo market at 5183 Murfreesboro Road in La Vergne and Kroger at 510 TN-76 E in White House.

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