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Pump Prices Concern Westport Drivers

The economic shock waves from the political disturbance in Libya are being felt by Bob Slaymaker and other drivers at the gas pumps in Westport.

The North African nation’s oil output has been severely cut back, Reuters reports, causing the price of crude to jump to more than $100 a barrel and drive up gas prices across town over the weekend.

"[The increase in gas prices] concerns me, but not too much more than I have been already," said Slaymaker, who works in Westport but lives 45 miles away. "With something like this, you have to expect an increase. It's not just this one event we should be worried about, it's the realization that's there an ongoing [gas] problem."

On Monday, prices for regular unleaded in Westport ranged from a low of $3.49 at the Mercury station on Post Road East and Buckley Avenue to a high of $4.09 at the Mobil station on Post Road East near Powers Court, Connecticutgasprices.com reported.

The average price in Westport, as reported on the website, was $3.68 a gallon. That topped both the state average of $3.54 and the national average of $3.35.

Westport resident Melanie Dibarto said she's worried gas prices will continue to increase due to the Libyan conflict.

"It costs me about $85 to fill up my tank," said Dibarto as she pumped gas into her Land Rover Monday night. "I also pay for my son's gas, and he drives a little Nissan Altima, but it still costs about $50."

Pundits are concerned the political unrest in Libya could spread to other parts of the oil-producing region, possibly driving prices higher. In addition, rising gas prices could skew the course toward economic recovery that many had predicted for 2011-2012.

"I just read that consumer confidence was going up — this is going to kill that," Dibarto said.

Are rising gas prices affecting your lifestyle? Let us know below.

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