Valley residents cope with gas hikes

FRESNO, Calif.

The average price for regular unleaded in the Fresno area has climbed five cents just since within a week. It seems as if prices are all over the place.

Gas prices have seen as low as $3.69 and has high as $4.13. Experts are falling short of calling it a spike, and say they notice an increase when crude oil costs more.

Most drivers will tell you they drive out of their way for the gas station that costs less. Jeff Collins, a Fresno resident, says he budgets about 200 bucks a month for gas others say the cost of gas factors in vacations.

Tonya Baldwin is in Fresno visiting from Arkansas, back home she is paying under $3.50 a gallon.

"We probably spent about 100$ on gas to go see a few family members and back again," Baldwin said.

According to our exclusive Action News poll, conducted by survey USA, 69 percent of the people who participated say the price of gas caused them to cancel or change their summer vacation plans.

And 54 percent say the price of gas caused them to change their daily routine, and change it by a lot.

"When you see trends like we're seeing, crude oil going up, consumers can usually expect change in price at pump," Tupper Hull said.

Tupper Hull works for the oldest petroleum trade association in the country, and says the price of crude oil jumped 14 percent since the beginning of June.

"There's a good news bad news story here, an improving economy increases demand for petroleum including crude oil and that demand shows up in slightly higher prices at the pump," Hull said.

Which means gas station owners can only do their best to keep up. Vikram Vohra says his family business is kept alive from the store inside-- not from fueling-- at the pump.

"We have nothing to do with the prices, when the prices go up, we have to follow it. Every time it goes up we make less money," Vohra said.

The good news is historically gas prices tend to go down when the companies switch to the winter blend, which should happen this fall.

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