Drivers are feeling an extra pinch in their wallets these days as gas prices continue to climb. Prices have skyrocketed to a record winter high, just within the last week. Since the beginning of the year, prices in Santa Barbara county jumped 5 to 6 %.
Nationwide an increase of 18 cents a gallon to $3.54 for regular, and in California it’s even higher, up 24 cents averaging $3.93 a gallon.
Local Economist Mark Schniepp attributes a number of factors. He says, with higher crude oil prices and the seasonality with regional refinery shutdowns, we’re seeing a typical spike in gas prices. Also he adds a fast economy means more demand for crude oil, meaning higher oil prices and thus high gasoline prices. The good news is the uptick is temporary. We are set for a decline once refineries all come back online to meet the accelerated spring demand for gas, prices will then go back down.
For locations with the lowest gas prices in your area go to: www.gasbuddy.com
NewsChannel 3 Reporter Shirin Rajaee reports.