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Forecast: $3.75 per Gallon Gas Prices by Spring | News

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Forecast: $3.75 per Gallon Gas Prices by Spring

DEKALB COUNTY, GA -- New forecasts on Friday predicted that gasoline prices could reach $3.75 per gallon by spring.

As it is, Metro Atlanta's gas prices have already risen about five percent since last month.  According to AAA, on Friday, Jan. 21 the average price per gallon for regular in Metro Atlanta was $3.03.  It was $2.899 a month ago.

An increase to $3.75 a gallon would be a 25 percent jump.

FIND: Metro Atlanta's Lowest Gas Prices

Part of the reason is that worldwide consumption of gasoline rose to a record level in 2010, including in China; another reason is that OPEC is holding down supplies.

"What we've got to do is try to stir up people all across this country," John Evans, of Lilburn, said on Friday.  Evans is President of the DeKalb County NAACP.  He is planning a rally and news conference at a gas station in DeKalb on Saturday to try to get across his point -- people don't have to be gas price victims, they can fight back.

One way they can do that, he says, is to cut way back on consumption by changing habits and finding alternative transportation.  Almost a boycott, it's something he believes could be effective if -- it's a big if -- it spreads nationwide.

"We know that big business will come and talk with you when you take money out of their pockets," Evans said.  But he knows that putting the theory into reality, in this case, approaches impossibility.

"We know it works," he said, expressing his frustration that "you just can't get everybody mobilized. That's what we're going to attempt to do here. When you've got people in this country just barely making it, sometimes I guess they just feel like they're just overwhelmed."

At a gas station on Covington Highway Friday night, Aaron Williams was filling up.

Looking at what's ahead, he said, he figured he can't stop the inevitable.

"It's going to get higher," he said of gas prices.  He's a working man.  He will pay any price to fuel his commute to the job he intends to keep.

"I can't afford it, but I've got to go, got to go! Got to get to work," he said.

"I'm going to cut some trips, and combine some trips," said another gas customer, Sharon Washington, who is well aware of the latest predictions about higher gas prices.  She said cutting back is how she made it through the last time gas prices hit $4.00 per gallon and above.

It's a way of consuming less gas, but it doesn't reduce overall consumption enough to drive down prices.  It just helps her balance her household budget.

Evans said people have to try something at the consumer level to fight rising prices, they can't just sit back and take it.

"Just keep working.  We don't know what will work.  But I tell you one thing, if you don't try, ain't nothing gonna work" to bring down gasoline prices.

Evans is proposing several ways to fight back besides conserving fuel, including some proposals that are controversial among politicians, economists and oil industry experts.  Here's the list, from Evans:

1. Have Americans remember that by doing nothing will not bring the price of gasoline down.

2. Ask all Americans to cut back on their gas consumption where possible.

3. Ask all Americans to put pressure on their elected officials for Federal Price Control.

4. Ask all state and federal agencies to put a halt to price gouging.

5. Americans should try some of the following to save gas.

a. Ride Rapid Transit.

b. Develop car pools.

c. Ride bicycles.

d. Walk where practical.

6. Repeal all state gasoline taxes in the United States (state governments).

7. Call your state Consumer Protection Agency (the telephone number for Georgia is 404 656-3605).

8. Call the Federal Trade Commission hotline 1 800 244-3301