Even with gas prices on the rise, it's rare Americans get to see them spike right before their very eyes.
But that's exactly what happened Wednesday during ABC News’ World News with Diane Sawyer. Over the course of a two-minute story on rising fuel prices, a sign at a gas station in downtown Los Angeles provided an unexpected kicker that most correspondents could only dream of. As if to prove the story's point beyond a doubt, the sign showed prices rise from $4.99 to $5.09, all during the short time that the reporter, Cecilia Vega, was on the air.
“It went up 10 cents?” host Diane Sawyer asked in disbelief.
At least the on-the-air price hike was relatively benign, unlike an incident that took place during another recent report on high gas prices in Florida. During that broadcast two cars crashed behind correspondent Adrienne Pedersen who later quipped the drivers were stunned "by the gas prices."
The cost to fill up at the pump has been skyrocketing across the country; in certain places such as Los Angeles -- where the ABC spot was filmed -- the cost of a gallon has exceeded $5. Nationwide, gas prices have surged 10 percent in the last two months, reaching an average of $3.53 per gallon last week, the highest levels on record for this time of year.
Experts say the reason for the surge in prices isn't due to any one circumstance and is instead the result of a combination of factors -- the most grave of which may be continuing tension between Iran and Israel. Iran produces 2.2 million barrels of oil a day, and rumors of threats from neighboring Israel over the former's nuclear program may be driving gas prices up by over 30 cents to the gallon, according to CNNMoney.
Other reasons may include small supply disruptions across the country. One such disruption at a BP plant in Washington has caused gas prices in the state to jump 21 cents over the past month.
And President Obama wants Americans to know that it isn't his fault they're paying more at the pump. In response to the recent spike in gas prices, Obama touted strides he's made in energy over his term and outlined a new energy strategy during a speech at the University of Miami on Thursday.
What are you paying at the pump? We want pictures of your receipts and the gas price signs you're seeing in your hometown. Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.