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Digging Deeper To Cover Fuel Costs

gas prices
CBS
If you're a driver, you know that with the recent spike in gasoline prices, you have had to dig deeper in order to fill your tank. Car and truck drivers are not alone.

CBS News Correspondent Jeffrey Kofman found a commercial fisherman who can burn 120 gallons a day in his boat.

Jocko DiGiacomo says it's costing him a lot more than he was paying to fill up just a few months ago. "Yes, my God, you do notice the difference."

It's the same story on dry land, where the cost of liquid asphalt is 70 percent, because its key ingredient is oil.

Meanwhile, at Direnberger Farms the cost of keeping the tractors and trucks running has almost doubled in a year.

"Right now the farmer's probably absorbing more than he has to just to keep everything going and to try and not raise prices and stay competitive," said Bill Direnberger.

And that, so far, is the surprising story of the price hike of 2000. Yes, it's costing more to keep a business running on gas, but in most cases it's not being passed on to the consumer, at least not yet.

During the oil embargo in the early 1970s, when supply was squeezed and prices soared, the economy went into a tailspin. That isn't happening this time, because today our economy is less about producing steel and more about producing software and selling stocks.

"These are much less energy intensive [times] than [during] the old economy," says Michael Connolly, Economics Department, University of Miami.

Yes, some industries, like the airlines, are passing on the increase to consumers in the form of fuel surcharges. But it'll be six months before there's any big jump in paving costs. And even though those massive cruise ships can burn 120,000 gallons a week, intense competition means the cost of a cruise is going down, not up.

"[Fuel costs] tens of millions of dollars to Carnival Corporation, but on the other hand we made a billion dollars," says Bob Dickinson, president, Carnival Cruise Lines.

But fishermen like DiGiacamo don't make a billion dollars. So, he and other commercial fishermen have no choice but to pass along the higher fuel costs to consumers.

"Catching any fish, it takes a lot of fuel. And everything has gone up, they have to do it to stay in business."

And so today's catch will cost 10 percent more when it goes to market tomorrow.