Prices up at the pump | SierraSun.com

Prices up at the pump

Christine Stanley
Sierra Sun

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunBrenda Brouwers fills her tank at the Beacon gas station in downtown Truckee on Thursday.

Gas prices are going up just in time for roadtrip season.

Statewide, the average price of a gallon of gas is $2.80, up 37 cents from this time last month, according to Sean Comey, spokeswoman for AAA of Northern California.

And average prices in Truckee, at $2.89, aren’t exactly welcoming consumers to the pump.

“We are entering the time of year when historically gas prices have tended to rise because consumption increases,” Comely said. “We are starting out this season at a level that is much higher than last year, and last year was certainly no bargain at the gas pump.”

But just how much can consumers take? It’s hard to say, especially since so many Americans have limited options when it comes to reducing fuel consumption.

“It’s not like the government is going to come in and set price controls,” Comely said. “[Fuel] is a commodity that’s governed by the free market. Gasoline is like anything else; [corporations] will charge what people are willing to pay.”

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To get the most out of your tank, Comely recommends routine vehicle maintenance, specifically for air filters and tires.

“Both are easy to maintain and can boost fuel economy by 10 percent,” he said.

Comely also noted that the best way to send a message is by buying fuel at the retailer in town with the best bargain, but keep an eye out because that too is likely to change.