Sky High Pump Prices? Not Yet

January 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Get ready for higher gas prices ... we're seeing a trend in rising prices here in the Valley. Right now-- prices around the Valley are hovering right around the $3 mark. That's up about a dollar compared to prices from this time last year. Cold weather is a factor and what could drive up pump prices even more. The price of regular unleaded gasoline in Fresno is up a buck more at the pump than a year ago.

"It was too good to be true, the prices going as slow as they were," said Arlene Madrid of Fresno.

Fresno's Jarrett Padilla said, "I don't like paying this much for gas."

Karen Gimbert from San Juan Island, WA said, "There's no reason for it."

And Scott Richards from Fresno said, "Summer ago it was close to $5. Then it got below 4. Then I think people went back to sleep again."

But eyes are opening up. Just within the last month the price of regular unleaded has increased an average of $.19. AAA said that's because cold weather drove up heating oil prices. However, that reason won't be around for much longer.

"When you drive up to the pump, any of us up to the pump today, we're seeing the influence of crude oil," said oil industry expert Joe Sparano. He added oil makes up 50-70% of the price at the pump.

Even though gas prices are nowhere near as expensive as they were two years ago, the economy is much worse. Drivers we spoke to said they're having to balance keeping food on the table and putting gas in the tank.

Padilla said, "It kind of hurts, but you got to do what you got to do."

Madrid said, "Usually I've been filling it up, last few months, but as gas has gone up got to keep it, to limit it."

22 of California's 25 metropolitan areas all have gasoline averages above $3 according to AAA. And drivers in only two other states are paying more than what we pay for gas here in California.