Gasoline prices increase |

Gasoline prices increase

Global problems are showing up at the gas pump with higher prices than a month ago, reports AAA of Northern California.

“Typically motorists see relatively low, stable prices at this time of the year, said AAA of Northern California spokeswoman Jenny Mack. “But the ongoing strike in Venezuela and the growing prospect of war with Iraq has helped drive up prices.”

AAA’s monthly survey found Northern California gas prices up an average of 4 cents from December, reaching $1.66 a gallon Tuesday.

In a separate survey of seven gas stations in Grass Valley, the price averaged $1.52 a gallon.

A month ago, global strife wasn’t much of a factor and prices averaged $1.44 a gallon at the same stations.

AAA reports that Chico motorists are getting the best deals in Northern California. They’re fueling up for an average $1.47 a gallon.

Gas up before you hit the city by the bay, where San Francisco motorists are paying the highest prices, $1.83 a gallon.

Prices could stop rising thanks to higher production quotas agreed to by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Coupled with an increase in Mexico’s output, that could lower crude oil prices.

“The hope is that increased production will help stabilize gas prices,” said Mack. “But it can often take several weeks before prices at the pump are affected.”

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