• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018
2 minutes reading time (450 words)

AAA: Several factors for higher gas prices

gas

Bob Kroener drives a lot and says every time he gets into his car, he has no idea what to expect anymore when it comes to gas prices.

"And I thought, 'What the hell is going on?'" he remembered thinking to himself when he noticed prices spiking.

The United States Air Force veteran says he started noticing rising gas prices about a month ago when he passed a gas station sign. "And it was $2.55 a gallon, and I went to play golf, and when I came back, it had jumped to $2.75 in less than four hours."

3 On Your Side found gas prices in the Valley hovering around $3.00 a gallon, and in many places, it was well over $3.00.

Aldo Vazquez is with AAA Arizona and acknowledges gas prices have shot up. "Right now, gas prices have been steadily increasing over the month."

According to motor club, the average price for a gallon of gas last month in the Valley was $2.45 a gallon. Today, the average is $3.07 a gallon.

AAA says a contributing factor to increasing gas prices is that the cost of crude oil has gone up. "And crude oil makes up about 60% of the cost of gas, so it's logical when crude goes up, gas goes with it."

Gas is also rising due to simple supply and demand. In other words, more people are driving, particularly since the COVID-19 vaccine was rolled out. "More people are getting out to get vaccinated, and things are returning to normal, and that's driving gas prices up as well," Vazquez told 3 On Your Side.

And this certainly doesn't help. Many Fry's stores have run out of gas, frustrating consumers who posted pictures of closed pumps on social media.

A Fry's spokesperson tells 3 On Your Side that they're "...currently experiencing temporary fuel-grade outages and are working with our expanded supply network and hope to have this resolved..."

And finally, the ice storm that shut down much of the nation also shut down oil production, which of course affects prices. Vazquez says, "As oil production starts to get back to normal levels, we expect our gas prices to be volatile and continue to increase."

In the meantime, Bob says he's expecting gas prices to inch higher since more people seem to be driving lately. "Everybody has been caged up. Everyone is starting to feel a little more free to go out. More people are getting their vaccinations, and they want to get out of the house, so to speak."

And AAA says we're not of the woods yet. In fact, the motor club expects gas prices to increase by another 5 cents to 10 cents more.
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