Gas prices are higher, but Missouri is lower than the U.S. average

Jeff Fox
What's going on

Gas prices are up and are likely to stay that way for some time, although Missouri continues to enjoy some of the lowest prices in the country. 

It’s supply and demand. AAA says prices nationwide rose 8 cents a gallon last week as crude oil is running at about $80 a barrel and then OPEC and other oil producers decided against raising output. A spill at a key pipeline in the U.S. added to the mix. 

Jeff Fox

The U.S. average price of a gallon of gas was $3.27.9 Tuesday, the highest in seven years, according to AAA. That price is up 10 cents from more than a month ago and up $1.09 from more than a year ago.  

Missouri’s average price was $2.96.4 on Tuesday, according to AAA. Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi are the only states running below $3. Eight western states in the continental U.S. – plus Alaska and Hawaii – are north of $3.50, California and Hawaii are running higher than $4. 

Keep it in perspective 

Brad Speaks and his staff held an open house the other day at the renovated Carson-Speaks Chapel at 1501 W. Lexington in Independence. It’s got more usable space, and just about everything down to the landscaping is new. 

Across the street sits the company’s Oak Ridge Gathering Space, which opened last spring. In large part, that’s in keeping with changes in how Americans mourn and celebrate, bury or cremate their loved ones. 

Brad gave tours and told stories of the company’s history. Being a journalist and a history enthusiast, I helpfully suggested that some of this stuff get written down. In fact, I’d suggest that for any local business that’s been around for awhile. 

I get it. We’re all busy getting product out the door, making payroll and dealing with whatever daily mess comes in over the transom. But I’d suggest that like emergency planning for what the future could bring, reflecting on and recording the past has great value. 

A note of disclosure: Brad and I shared the stage last week as I emceed The Examiner’s annual Women of Distinction luncheon; Speaks Chapels is a major sponsor of the event. Brad got in more zingers than I did. 

The chapel on Lexington is nearly 70 years old, and this is its first major renovation in many years. It underlines a key point that’s easy to overlook: Bringing new companies and new investment is important to a community – but so is reinvestment in existing businesses, which means continued goods, services and paychecks into the future. 

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365, or on Twitter at @FoxEJC.