Gas prices are climbing back up in the Valley

FRESNO, Calif.

Lines of drivers waited at a busy gas station in Downtown Fresno to fill up. At $4.07 a gallon, it's the cheapest fuel in town. "I look for the cheaper one over here. That's why I came here because over there was too high," said Auggie Alvarez of Fresno.

Drivers are shopping around for the cheapest gas now that prices are climbing back up. "I just noticed the climb during the week when my gas tank starts to get lower and I see that gas prices have risen, and I'm like 'ah, I got to fill up now,'" said Katie Freeman.

According to GasBuddy.com, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in Fresno went up 12 cents in the past week -- to $4.26. That's a reversal from the national average that has fuel costs slipping. The problem? The temporary shutdown of 1/3 of California's oil refineries that produce the state's special blend of gas.

"A lot of areas of the West Coast are seeing a big increase in gas prices as oil refineries in the last few weeks have suffered issues which have led to very tight supply. And that unfortunately has led to an increase in the retail cost of gasoline," said Patrick Dehaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

And if gas prices continue to soar well into the coming weeks, consumers say it could cut into their Memorial Day weekend plans. "We are planning on going to Pismo [Beach] so I don't know. We may have to put it on hold if the gas prices go up because they usually go up that weekend. We'll see what happens," said Monique Luna of Fresno.

"I'm probably still going to plan to travel just to see family and to me, the gas prices don't outweigh the family. So you kind of just have to decide your priorities," said Freeman.

Experts don't think the high prices will stick around for too long -- some predicting prices to go back down by the holiday weekend -- and that's a good sign for cash-strapped drivers.

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