Gas prices this summer may not be as high

FRESNO, Calif.

The average price for a gallon of regular gas in California has risen nine cents over the past two weeks to $4.01. In Fresno the average price of gas is at $3.95. Across the US prices are much lower at $3.57.

Local economists say that this year could be different. The reason could be a lower national demand for gasoline.

This is the time of year when families start topping off their gas tanks for summer road trips.

"We've been keeping an eye on it. We're going on a trip in about 2 weeks. So we want to fill up before they go too high," said Jane Tyner. "They've been staying under $4, right around $4 so we're hoping they stay that way."

The good news is prices should remain relatively flat. Fresno City College Economy Professor Henry Nishimoto says we are now experiencing a nationwide drop in demand for gas.

" That owes to the fact that more people are transitioning to more fuel efficient cars. We're seeing more hybrids on the road. People are being more frugal on their trips. I think that's having an effect on the demand. This summer we will probably see more stable gas prices than we did in the past," said Nishimoto.

That is welcome news to Tim Souza. He and his family drive up and down the state for cheer competitions. Their SUV takes up a good portion of their budget.

"Yeah, we go through about a tank a week in our SUV. So you're talking 100 dollars a week and 500 dollars a month in gas," said Souza.

The cheapest price we of gas in the Valley is $3.73. That is at stations in Northeast Fresno and Madera.

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