Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

August 30, 2013

Oil prices rise heading into holiday weekend

AAA projects 400,300 Oklahomans will travel

Special to The Sun

EDMOND — Oil prices are rising — just before a travel holiday weekend — as the Obama administration prepares for a possible military strike against Syria.

AAA projects that 400,300 Oklahomans will travel more than 50 miles during the Labor holiday weekend, a 3.7 percent increase from last year. Eighty-five percent will travel by vehicle, 8 percent by air and 7 percent by other means.

Monday the national average for a price of regular unleaded gasoline stood at $3.54 per gallon, according to the auto club AAA. The price was fractions of a penny more than a week earlier, 10 cents less than a month earlier and 21 cents lower than the same day last year.

The question is: How much will they pay for a gallon of gasoline during the coming days?

Mid-day Tuesday the price for crude oil (WTI) stood at $109, a 3.09 percent jump, and the price for crude oil (Brent) stood at $114.23, a 3.50 percent jump, according to Bloomberg.

The company was reporting that the Obama administration was building its legal and political justification for a limited military strike against Syria, where a growing number of voices say the Bashar al-Assad regime recently used a chemical weapon.

A team of United Nations inspectors on the ground in Syria spent its first day in the suburbs of Damascus at the site of the alleged incident interviewing witnesses, survivors and doctors and collecting samples, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday via a news release.

Ban said the use of chemical weapons by anyone under any circumstance is a serious violation of international law and an outrageous crime.

The team is spending up to 14 days, possibly more, working with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the UN World Health Organization.

In June, the UN reported 93,000 people — likely a conservative number — had died between March 2011 and April 2013 during the civil war in Syria. Civilians are bearing the brunt of the attacks, the UN reported.

“For many of us, our home is our biggest asset,” said AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai, an Edmond resident. “As home prices improve, more families are feeling more comfortable about traveling.”

The largest share of holiday travelers (46 percent) will leave Friday. The most popular return date is Monday, with 43 percent planning to return then. The average traveler is expected to travel a round-trip distance of 594 miles and spend $804.

Popular destinations include bodies of water like Arcadia Lake. Jenny Monroe, spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department, said the agency will have extra patrols out at night and will watch the lake closely during the last holiday weekend of summer.