OK, so we were a little off.

Almost exactly a year ago (June 4, 2007, to be exact),The NEWShad this headline on page 1: “Gas Prices Predicted to Hit $4 per Gallon.”

What can I say? It took nearly a year for it to happen, but it’s here – at least in Alaska and Connecticut, at last look. As of May 16, these two states passed the $4 threshold, but you know it’s coming to every state sooner or later. According to the AAA, the average price for a gallon in Alaska is $4.02, while it is $4.08 in Connecticut. (You have something to brag about in Arizona, where a gallon of regular unleaded is $3.65, well below the national average of $3.87. Geez, sun and “cheap” gas. Lucky you, Arizonians.)

For the record, one year ago when that article appeared, self-serve regular gasoline hit a then-record-high $3.18. Now we crave for the days of $3.18-a-gallon gas.

I am afraid to ask when this all will end. The economy will continue to go down the dumper with each price hike. Contractors will have to charge more in order to make up for the difference – which is not going to make customers happy one bit. With more bills on their plate, I suspect more customers will not be calling an a/c contractor for service or a maintenance check. Many, I fear, will be opening windows (if possible) for fresh air or use an individual fan to keep cool.

More bad news from the Midwest, too. In the St. Louis area, at least, they are predicting a below-normal temperature for the month of June and an above-average rainfall. It’s just not a good mix for local contractors.

How do you plan to overcome these obstacles, folks? I am afraid there is no silver bullet, is there?