Pump prices concern drivers and businesses

Robert Brittain with Green Team Law Care and Landscaping, says he relies on gasoline to operate most of his lawn care equipment.

Columbia (WACH) -- Pain at the pump, is becoming even more painful these days. Prices in the Midlands are on the rise. The average cost for a gallon of regular, goes for $2.53, and that's up $.10 from last month. But drivers aren't the only ones concerned with pump prices.

"Customers are also feeling the pain also," said Robert Brittain with Green Team Law Care and Landscaping.

It's pain Brittain and his crew experience daily. The professional landscaper relies on gasoline to operate most of his lawn care equipment. And until prices go down, Brittain along with his customers, are often finding themselves blown away with rising costs.

"We try to keep the prices as low as we can, and just kind of keep chugging along and hope the prices go down," said Brittain.

But according to Michael Fields, with the South Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association, relief at the pump may not be on the horizon.

"Prices should not be doing what they're doing," said Fields. "Because we have record supplies right now and lower demand; although those things move on a daily basis."

Reflecting on the petroleum problem, Fields says even the recent BP disaster doesn't explain why prices continue to climb.

"In the grand scheme of petroleum pricing, it had absolutely nothing to do with what's going on in the market right now," said Fields.

Although many feel the discomfort from the pump prices, Fields says things could be worse.

"We still have on average, the lowest prices in the country right here in South Carolina," said Fields. "Now people who are hurting or might be out of work, there's no solace in that, they are still hurting."

"It hurts," said Brittain. "I mean it's hard to pass on to customers, because they are also feeling the gas prices."

Which continue to sting, both drivers and businesses. As for Robert Brittain, he hopes the fueling fears will turn the corner and head back down.