Gas Continues To Rise In Valley

Fresno, Calif. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gas Saving Tips From AAA
- Stay within the speed limit.
- Check tire pressure for long drives.
- Keep engine tuned.
- Check oil.
- Avoid idling.
- Choose correct octane.
- Replace air filters.
- Lose junk in the truck.
- Carpool or combine errands.

In Fresno, the average cost of a regular gallon of unleaded is $2.93. One month ago it was $2.45. Prices have also spiked about $.50 over the last month in Merced and Visalia.

For Valley drivers, rising gas prices are an unwelcome sign that summer is here. "They know people are going to be traveling. They crank the prices up," said Bob Gann.

"Maybe I don't understand the politics of our oil people but it's just not right," said Jeff Johnson.

Natalie Fagundes laughed: "It's still below three dollars so it's ok."

Fagundes can laugh for now but still worries she might have to pay last summer's record $4.63 a gallon again. Since January prices at the pump have increased more than 55%.

Petroleum distributor Scott Cain said the rising cost of crude oil is largely to blame. "Since crude oil makes up about 70% the cost of the price of a gallon of gasoline that's what driving fuel prices," said Cain.

Valley drivers Action News spoke to were cynical pumping more bucks into the tank.

Johnson said: "Our gas companies seem to think, 'We need another corporate jet. Let's just raise the price.'"

But Cain said the increase has nothing to do with greed. "Why would they let it come down to where it was where crude oil got down to 30 bucks a barrel in December."

But the rise in prices has valley motorists once again watching their driving habits and carefully planning their next big summer trip.

Natalie Fagundes said: "Now I have to actually kinda calculate how much money I need to put in rather than just filling up."

Cain said he sees drivers having to pay three dollars this summer for gas but not four like last year.

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