Iraq blamed for soaring gas prices

By Stewart Warren

NIU students might pay up to $2 a gallon for gas as soon as next week, a DeKalb service station owner said.

“I can see gas going to $2 a gallon by the end of next week,” said Bob Simmons, owner of Bob’s Amoco, 1102 N. First St.

Experts blamed Iraq’s takeover of oil-supplying Kuwait Thursday for the skyrocketing price of crude oil and refined products.

Prices at some DeKalb pumps jumped between 13 and 30 cents in the past week.

NIU student Tom Carter, 21, said he has a 1982 Pontiac Firebird for sale, and he worries no one will buy the gas guzzler.

The price of gas increased 27 cents in four days, said Jim Copp, manager of the Checker gas station at 1101 N. First St.

“We’ve seen people come in, look at the prices and drive away,” he said.

“If you have to drive, you have to drive. I won’t walk,” said NIU student Hyo Chang, 21.

Chang said he still drives his Mazda RX-7 to class and to the bars although he felt the financial crunch.

But, “it’s made me more broke,” he said.

Chuck Bockman, owner of Bockman’s Standard Service, 705 E. Lincoln Hwy., said the strife in the Middle East has not hurt his business.

“We have competitive prices and our total gallons sold has not changed,” he said.

Gas prices rose 30 cents at the Minuteman Gas and Pantry, 125 N. Annie Glidden Rd., said night manager Judy Clark.

“They’re killing us. We are selling gas right at cost now. We are just breaking even,” Clark said.

NIU political science associate professor Robert Albritton said the problems in the Middle East should not be affecting gas prices yet.

“None of the gas in stations currently was bought at inflated prices, but yet prices have gone up,” he said.

“If the oil companies pass on percentage increases as they did in the 1970s they will be creating a windfall profit from this crisis the way they did 15 years ago,” during the OPEC embargo, Albritton said.