Economy Takes a Bang Out of Holiday Festivities

by Jay Gray

NBC News

For millions of Americans this Fourth of July has lost a lot of it's well, sparkle.

Across the country, holiday celebrations are literally running out of gas.

The price of oil has doubled since Independence Day last year pushing the price of fuel up more than a dollar a gallon.

"And that's filtering down into every part of the economy. Not only is it gasoline and diesel prices that are affected, but all our consumer goods that are delivered to the stores and the supermarkets are going to see higher prices," said oil industry analyst Andy Lipow.

Much higher which means it is tougher for families to afford a holiday picnic much less a trip.

The higher prices at the pump have even taken some of the pop out of fireworks sales.

"Its not great. I think gas prices have something to do with it. Most my customers drive from North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Maine," said fireworks stand operator Ryland Kieffer.

So what's the key to driving down the cost of driving?

"We're going to have to drill for more oil in areas of the world, we're going to have to use renewable fuels, we're going to have to use more nuclear power, and we're also going to have to learn to conserve and learn to be more energy efficient," Lipow said.

Efficiency that's being forced on many consumers by the high cost of just about everything these days.