Drivers across the country are feeling the pain at the pump, but few are seeing a higher jump than those in Grand Junction.
Three weeks ago, we reported about Grand Junction's $3.03/gallon average being amongst the lowest in the country in this article. Exactly three weeks later, the city's average sits at $3.59/gallon.
Small businesses, for the most part, have been able to deal with the rising cost. But, as gas prices get closer to record levels, one local industry is preparing for the pinch.
"I love being outdoors and working," Matt Morgan with 2 Brothers Landscaping said at a job site on Wednesday.
As spring nears for his business, clients start calling and his cash flow begins to improve. "Usually as soon as the water hits, I get pretty busy," Morgan explained. "People are like, 'Hey! It's spring, let's do something!'"
Throughout the summer, you can find Morgan driving all over the Grand Valley for work. His company services clients from Loma to Palisade and everything in between.
But as business picks up, so do the expenses. One of his largest is gasoline. "Sometimes you talk to client and say 'Hey, listen. I have to pass that cost on,'" he explained. "But if it's a bid job, you just have to stand by your price and do the best you can to get the job done as fast as possible."
In just the last three weeks, Morgan has stood by with the rest of us watching Grand Junction's average price of gas climbed nearly 60 cents.
Wednesday, we had a chance to sit down with Congressman Scott Tipton on the issue. He assures us he's watching from 2,000 miles away in Washington, D.C.
"The other day I filled up by F-150 and it cost about 80 dollars to do so," Tipton said. "I believe we can impact gas prices and create certainty for country."
Tipton is hopeful that the long-term answers lie with energy independence and the Keystone Pipeline, but wonders if there could be more immediate relief.
"We're seeing some price increases now because of regulatory compliance to be able to switch over to these summer time formulas for fuels," he noted. "Can we look at how that can be adjusted in maybe different areas of the country as opposed to a sort of one-size-fits-all type of method?"
Others in congress have wondered the same thing, although nothing has been done yet to push that kind of plan forward.
Until something is done to curb prices in the short term, small businessmen like Morgan will have to figure out how to cope.
"This year looks like it will be an alright year," he said. "You just gotta keep on going on."