Local economist: enjoy low gas prices now

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After a USA TODAY article published Tuesday warned of $5 a gallon gasoline in the next few years, a UNC-Charlotte economist said drivers shouldn't panic.

"I don't give a great deal of credibility to long term energy forecasts," said Dr. Peter Schwarz. "It's very, very difficult to predict these things."

Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister told USA TODAY, "I believe later this decade we'll see $5 a gallon and possible shortages of fuel in some parts of the world."

He cites global supply and demand issues.

But Schwarz, who's studied energy issues for decades, said the energy market is too unpredictable to forecast prices years in advance. However, he does expect prices to start climbing again in time for summer.

"Typically gas prices start to head back up as we get into May," said Schwarz.


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