Gas At $4 A Gallon? Economists Say It's Possible

If you think gas prices are high enough already, some economists warn you haven't seen anything yet.

They say unleaded gas could be selling for as much as $4 a gallon by this spring.

So with that looming, how will those who spend a lot of money on gas, like school systems and city governments, handle the extra cost?

Right now, a gallon of regular unleaded gas is already going for more than $3 at gas stations around Lexington.

Imagine having to fill up a school bus with diesel fuel, which is even more expensive now than regular gas.

"If we bought a tanker of fuel today, it would cost us about $3.32 a gallon. We don't pay federal tax," Jim Cleaver, Director of Transportation for Bourbon County Schools says.

With a fleet of buses that only get 8 to 10 miles per gallon, the money adds up quickly.

"It would definitely have an impact on the school system because we allot so much money for fuel, and we've allotted $200,000," Cleaver says. "We already spent $140,000 so we're going to have to keep the buses running to get the kids here."

Cleaver says Bourbon County has already cut bus routes to "a bare minimum."

"The money is going to have to come from somewhere, which means other areas of the school system may suffer," he said.

Cleaver says Bourbon County may not be able to buy a new bus for at least a year.

Meanwhile, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government officials say if the price of gas went up one dollar, it would cost them another $150,000 a month.

Garbage trucks and fire trucks are naturally gas guzzlers, and the large number of police cars require officials to spend lots of money on gas.

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