For many Montanans, this is not the news we hoped for. Of course, I think deep down we all knew that it was going to happen, but I'll be honest, I thought it would take a little longer.

It's official. Montana has joined several other states when it comes to gas prices.  Yep, we are now part of the "5 Dollar A Gallon" club.

While the average price for a gallon of regular is 4.90 for the state, several Montana counties, including most of the western counties and Missoula, are all at 5 dollars or more. Here in Bozeman, we are holding on at 4.89 a gallon, but that is still a 10-cent increase over a few days ago, according to AAA.

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For most of us, this is just plain offensive. I mean, the idea of 5 dollars a gallon for gas seems ridiculous, right? Especially when you consider what prices were just a year or two ago. Oh and the scariest part? There doesn't seem to be any sort of plan in place for any kind of relief. So, basically, we're stuck paying high prices...or we just don't drive.

Not the best options, huh?

A couple of weeks back, we asked folks to participate in a poll regarding gas prices.  The question was simple: we wanted to know at what point people would change their driving habits based on the cost of fuel. Our options were "5 bucks", "7 bucks", "10 bucks", or "I already have".

Photo by Dawn McDonald on Unsplash
Photo by Dawn McDonald on Unsplash
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Almost 70 percent of the folks that took the poll stated that they had already changed their habits.

Of course, the high price of fuel doesn't only affect us, it also affects our economy here in Montana. Not only are we paying more at the pump and for groceries and other goods, but Montana is dependent on tourism and according to some recent data, folks might be staying away from traveling due to the high cost of fuel.

So, with no end in sight and no plan in place, how high will prices climb? One thing is for sure, it certainly looks like it's going to be a bumpy ride.

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