Janessa Quinn drives 45 minutes to her job in the health care industry.
The York resident said she spends about $100 on gasoline every week to accommodate her round-trip commute and other obligations.
That amount is more than the single mother spends on groceries for her family every week.
When she pulled into Turkey Hill on the Lincoln Highway Wednesday morning, she was stunned to see gas prices had climbed to $3.95 a gallon at the East Market Street station.
"It's shocking. It scares me. If it stays like this, it will be painful and hard to get to work. It's already been hurting for a while now," she said.
Numbers on nearby gas pumps suggested Quinn might not be alone. Many screens indicated drivers had recently spent $10 to get a little more than two gallons of gas.
Retiree Albert Warner doesn't expect $10 to get him 10 gallons of gas like it did 15 years ago, but getting about five gallons out of his Alexander Hamilton would be nice, he said.
The Hellam resident said it felt "weird" to be happy about Giant gas rewards that earned him 20 cents off a gallon.
Even with the discount, he paid about $50 to fill up his Toyota Corolla at the Giant station on East Market Street in Springettsbury Township, where gas is $3.95 per gallon, he said.
Several other local stations were also selling gas at $3.95 a gallon, including Rutter's on Mount Zion Road in Springettsbury Township and Hess on North George Street in Emigsville.
Selling for a little less on Wednesday were Sheetz on South Queen Street and Giant on Pauline Drive in York Township, where gas was $3.89 per gallon. A nearby Sunoco on South Queen Street in York Township was selling gas for $3.85.
The lowest price in the area Wednesday was $3.79 per gallon and was offered by many stations along the Route 30 corridor, including Rutter's on North George Street, Royal Farms at the intersection of Loucks Road and Roosevelt Avenue, Rutter's on Kenneth Road, Rutter's at Loucks Road and Pennsylvania Avenue, and Sheetz at the intersection of Route 30 and Toronita Street.
But those prices may also climb, according to analysts, who offered a variety of opinions.
What's to blame?: The price hike can partially be blamed on investors reacting to economic news, according to Bob Astor, wholesale fuels business manager for Shipley Fuels.
News out of Europe that Germany has been given a green light in the continued European bailout, along with the possibility of an additional U.S. stimulus decided upon Wednesday by the Federal Reserve, raised crude oil prices on the New York Stock Exchange, he said.
"The theory is if the economy gets stronger, people will use more oil, which will demand a higher price," Astor said.
There's also been a slow restart of refineries in the Gulf region, following Hurricane Isaac, he said.
Nationwide, refineries are operating at about 84 percent capacity, compared to 86 percent a week ago, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Those figures dip lower in the East Coast region, where production is at about 83 percent.
"A lot of things are in play right now," said Gregg Laskoski, senior analyst at GasBuddy.com.
Geopolitical pressures in the Middle East have the potential to impact crude oil prices on an hourly basis, he said.
Crude oil was trading at $96 and $97 a barrel on Wednesday, he said.
"Until we see those numbers come down, we can't expect much relief at the pump," Laskoski said.
Relief on way? But Rob Rinehart said he expects prices to go down in a week.
Rinehart, who works as director of gasoline trading for Royal Farms, said there's a short-term disconnect in supply because of Hurricane Isaac's battering of the Gulf Coast.
New York Harbor traders got caught shorthanded as they tried to run out summer inventory before buying winter grade fuel.
"Now they're paying up accordingly, and it's running up prices temporarily," Rinehart said.
- Candy Woodall can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.