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Bemoaning gas costs

With gas prices rising to more than $3 per gallon again, western Nevada County residents on Tuesday expressed their dismay at the increases.

“Pricing in California is more unpredictable,” said Jim Vicory, 67, who was filling up at the Quik Stop Market gasoline station on Hughes Road in Grass Valley. “The pricing could be more consistent. This constant going up and down, it seems like daily.”

Vicory said his brother in the state of Washington was paying $2.70 per gallon.



“Why are we paying more than anyone else?” Vicory said. “If the cost per barrel is the same, the pricing for gasoline should be the same all over, too.”

Gas prices dipped below $2.40 right before the Nov. 7 election last year and started again climbing right after. In some weeks local prices have jumped nearly 20 cents.




The statewide average record high price of $3.38 was set in May 2006, according to AAA.

Jim Pfile, 52, filling the tank at Robinson Mini Mart on East Main Street in Grass Valley, said he thought prices would rise more.

“They’re going to take it up to $4 and beyond and then bring it back to $3.50, and we are going to be happy again,” Pfile said. “How many times do they have to do this to us?”

Gas prices have increased 17 percent in the past month, according to the AAA Web site. A new report from AAA of Northern California shows the statewide average cost of regular unleaded gas is now $3.11 a gallon, up 45 cents per gallon since the last AAA fuel price survey on Feb. 13.

According to AAA, oil refineries retool around this time of the year to change from a blend of gas used by drivers during winter to a different blend that’s used in summer. There have been problems with the turnaround process at some refineries, reducing the supply of gasoline, AAA reported. The cost of crude oil also has increased since January.

Managers at local gas stations declined to comment on the price rise.

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To contact Staff Writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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