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All Eyes on Syria; Gas Prices Could Spike in the Valley - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

All Eyes on Syria; Gas Prices Could Spike in the Valley

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President Obama says he's considering limited and narrow action,  but not a boots-on-the-ground approach as the showdown with Syria intensifies.

All eyes are on Syria as the world waits to see what, if any, military action the United States will take in response to chemical attacks.

According to a new NBC poll nearly 80 percent of Americans say President Obama should seek congressional approval before taking any military strike, and 50 percent say we shouldn't intervene at all.

Here in the Valley, gearing up for possible deployment isn't the only fear. Gas prices may not be safe either.

Roger Smith is one man who is seeing both ends of the situation. He is no stranger to war time having already served five combat tours overseas in his time with the military. "It's a rough time. It's what we get paid to do. We're happy to do it. We're proud of it," he says.

With the unrest in Syria, he and many active military members are staying aware of what is happening stateside. Smith says, "We're kinda watching and waiting, and we're still training, and we're actually preparing for it."

While this isn't the case for most of us, what could affect us here in the Valley is a spike in gas prices. "I think gas prices are gonna do the same thing they did in the Gulf War and the same thing they did once we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq," says Smith.

He isn't far off. Kent Satrang, CEO of Petro Serve USA says, "If we do see missiles, I think we'll see a sharp increase, but it won't be for very long." Satrang says we are far better off than 10 years ago now that we have the Baaken and a large ethanol market.

He says it's tough to tell, but he doesn't see more than a 15 cent spike in prices around here if military action is taken and no other countries are involved. But he adds, "It's gonna be really bad if Russia and Iran get involved in it. Then I think we could see a spike."

For right now, it's a chess match as everyone waits to see how the U.S. will respond to Syria. While eyes stay vigilant, Smith is hoping he can set aside both the gas prices and what lies ahead away for the long weekend.

Satrang says prices at the pump over the past 10 days have gone up about 20 cents as fears of military action in Syria continue to swell. He adds we are still 10-15 cents below the national average right here in the Valley.
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