Gas prices in Missouri are 12 cents higher than they were a year ago, at an average price of $2.66 per gallon, according to MissouriGasPrices.com. Prices at pumps in Cape Girardeau are slightly lower than the state average at $2.53 per gallon at Rhodes 101, Ameri-Market, Kidd's and Bi-State Convenience Stores. In Jackson, gas prices are even lower at $2.46 per gallon at Murphy USA and $2.49 per gallon at Rhodes 101.
Jack Jerrell of Lick Creek, Ill., filled up his truck and four gas cans Tuesday afternoon at Murphy's USA. He said he saves about 30 cents per gallon compared to prices near his home in Illinois.
"I'd be crazy not to fill up over here," he said as he was running errands while his wife was with their grandchildren at the new Cape Girardeau water park. "I do think prices should be lower."
Several people filling their tanks Tuesday said higher gas prices aren't changing their travel plans.
"We're getting ready to go to Yellowstone [National Park], and that's 3,500 miles round trip," said Robyn Crocetti of Cape Girardeau.
She said she's relieved that gas prices aren't higher. "When we planned the trip last year, we expected prices to be about $3 a gallon."
Crocetti said gas prices won't keep her family from doing things they enjoy.
"My son plays Junior Legion baseball, so we're on the road a lot. We wouldn't give that up because of gas prices," she said.
Some people expressed concerns that the ongoing BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico would keep gas prices climbing, but others were more worried about the oil spill's environmental effect.
Representatives from local gasoline chains Rhodes 101, Kidd's and Bi-State were unavailable for comment.
A report released by AAA this week projects the number of people traveling over the Fourth of July holiday weekend will increase 17 percent this year over 2009. Ninety percent of those people will reach their destination by car. AAA estimates the average distance people will travel this weekend is 617 miles round trip.