Valley Gas Prices Hit Record Highs

March 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Sunday, regular gas hit a new record of $3.49 in Fresno and tied the record of $3.49 in Merced. While Visalia hit a new record of $3.52.We have what some valley consumers are doing to save money.

It'll cost you $3.63 a gallon for regular gas in northeast Fresno, while premium prices are creeping closer to the four dollar mark.

Gas prices in Fresno have gone up 35 cents in the last month.

Liz Ludlow, Clovis, says "I can't believe how much it is...it's already $3.55! I was just here 2 weeks ago and it was at $3.30. I just can't believe it."

But Fresno's Peter Cagle doesn't mind when he fills up his car. "On the highways it gets 53 miles to the gallon, in town it get 43 miles to the gallon."

He recently traded his BMW for a smart car and says he's cut his gas usage in half spending around $40 a month. He also says the car is a magnet for curious people.

"They're interested in the mileage, and a lot of the women say it's cute- but to me it was the mileage factor more than anything."

AAA has said high gas prices go with supply and demand- saying the cost drops if people use less. But new figures show Californians are using less gas, 4% less last November than a year before. So why are prices going up?

Jack Kyser, L.A. Economic Development Corp., says "Lot of things going on. Political instability in oil producing nations, you've got the weak U.S. dollar so it costs us more to buy every barrel of oil you import, speculators in the market, a lot of things are going to keep gas/diesel prices higher, which is not good news for both consumers and business."

Shoppers aren't just paying more for gas but for many food staples like milk, wheat and corn; in part because of rising gas prices, but also because of demand around the globe.

Some shoppers are watching their spending closer. Tom Taylor, Clovis shopper, says "We were in here today and they gave away four free items if you spend so much. I watch that we make sure we get those 4 items because it all helps. Every little bit helps."

Right now San Francisco has the highest gas prices in the state at $3.62 a gallon. The lowest prices are in Orange County at $3.40 a gallon.


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