Gas prices going up " again |

Gas prices going up " again

California gasoline prices have soared to more than $3 a gallon again, with the cost of refueling in the Truckee-Tahoe area near the top.

According to the California State Automobile Association, in the last month the cost of a gallon of gasoline in the state has jumped by 45 cents, or 17 percent, to an average of $3.11. The report identified San Francisco as both the state and national leader at $3.32 per gallon, but the Truckee-Tahoe area’s average price of $3.27 for a gallon of gas isn’t far behind.

Local residents who drive for a living, like Ron Rudis of Ace High Taxi, are trying to reduce unnecessary trips, but Rudis said he can do little to compensate for the price hike.

“We gotta pay what we gotta pay,” Rudis said. “But our rates don’t change because of it.”

Tal Fletcher, owner of Mountain Cab and Squaw Valley Taxi, said his vehicles have a unique advantage after being converted to use biodiesel, but those prices fluctuate along with the rest of the fuel market.

“We aren’t going to raise our rates because fuel goes up a little bit,” Fletcher said.

He said many taxi companies in the area try to fill up in Reno when they can to help keep costs down.

According to the price survey, the average price for gasoline in Reno is $2.98 a gallon, 29 cents less than in the Truckee-Tahoe region.

Production problems, rising raw-material costs, high demand and healthy profit margins all account for the growing price at the pump, according to the automobile club release.

As refineries switch from winter fuel blends to others that limit air pollution during the summer, the California Energy Commission reports that problems have surfaced with the changeoover, reducing the supply of gasoline.

Crude oil prices have also risen since January and, combined with increased financial speculation in the oil commodities market, has contributed to the higher prices, according to the auto club.

“This situation creates a serious problem for many consumers,” said spokesman Sean Comey of AAA of Northern California in the release. “If the cost of any other products and services we rely on changed this much, it would make it extremely difficult to keep your family budget under control.”

To get up-to-date fuel prices, check to check the AAA fuel finder.

National: $2.54

California: $3.11

Northern California: $3.14

Bay Area: $3.27

Truckee-Tahoe area: $3.27

Reno: $2.98

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