Gas prices on the rise, again

Gilroy
– Some are recommending taking this year’s spring break or
summer vacation road trip early, as gas prices continue a
seven-week increase.
The average price in Gilroy for self-serve regular was $2.22 per
gallon, slightly below the statewide average of $2.29 per
gallon.
By Lori Stuenkel

Gilroy – Some are recommending taking this year’s spring break or summer vacation road trip early, as gas prices continue a seven-week increase.

The average price in Gilroy for self-serve regular was $2.22 per gallon, slightly below the statewide average of $2.29 per gallon. Drivers nationwide were paying $2.02. On March 11 last year, Gilroyans paid roughly $2.12 per gallon.

Gas prices broke records back in October, hitting $2.40 in Gilroy on Oct. 22, then declined for about three months and in January hit a low that wavered just less than $2.

People at the pump can expect to see a new record set this year, although whether that will happen weeks or months from now is unclear.

Fuel prices again began to rise starting in the middle of January, according to the Automobile Association.

“Most of what appears to be driving this right now is high oil prices,” said Sean Comey, AAA spokesman. “The price of the oil goes up, and so does gasoline.”

By about 2.5 cents each gallon, per one-dollar increase for a barrel of oil, to be exact. Crude oil prices rose above $54 per barrel on Friday, and have been above $50 for weeks.

Another factor in the increase is gasoline traders, Comey said, who may be trying to take advantage of an expected increase in driver demand.

Some analysts predicted as much as a 25-cent increase last weekend, March 4 through 6, and while that wasn’t the case, prices did continue to rise.

Statewide, the price of regular self-serve increased 7.55 cents between Feb. 19 and March 4 to reach $2.20 per gallon.

Despite some doom-and-gloom predictions about the cost of unleaded gasoline spiking close to $3, Comey said drivers shouldn’t panic.

“If people rush out and fill up their tank when they ordinarily wouldn’t, it can create false demand,” Comey said.

Still, its expected that demand will increase this time of year, with the lowest-demand time of year over and summer vacation season approaching.

“When we get into the spring, people start driving more and demand goes up,” Comey said. “So if oil remains high, gas prices could increase into the spring and summer as demand increases.”

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