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Gas prices accelerate to 7-year high

Gas prices hit 7-year-high on the eve of walk to school day

GOLETA, Calif.-Drivers filling up their tanks may be wondering what's fueling a 7-year high.

The last time crude oil prices were this high was in October of 2014.

Oil analysts said Opec and its allies have not speeded up plans to increase crude production, despite calls from the White House.

At the same time, natural gas and coal prices are setting records.

At the 76 Station on Winchester Canyon in Goleta prices range from $4.79 to $4.99.

George Zengel of Santa Barbara filled up his truck at the Fuel Depot and The Point Market off Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara and paid $100.00 for the first time.

He appeared shocked.

Some people have no choice as they commute to work.

Vincent Ruiz said he has a car for his commute and another for leisure.

He filled up at the Mobil off Glenn Annie Road in Goleta where prices range from $4.69 to $4.89.

"Obviously gas prices are higher especially in California, you know, where we live this is such a, I won't say touristy area, but you pay for where you live, unfortunately our taxes are pretty high, so gas is going to be high as well."

Ruis said his grandmother pays a lot less in Austin, Texas.

"I commute to work a lot, I work in Los Alamos, I work in Lompoc, I work here at the Ritz Carlton, I'm a sous-chef, I also do serving, so it can be hard at times trying to figure out, okay, this is my budget for the month for gas, but at the same time we do live in Santa Barbara, this is a beautiful area to live in, you pay for where you live."

Opec plans to increase production by 400,000 barrels a day, but that does not appear to be enough to meet the demand.

The industry prices are intended to increase investment in oil and gas production.

The American Auto Association (AAA) released California's average gas prices on Tuesday.

They show the current average is $4.414 for a gallon of regular, $4.601 for mid-grade, $4.729 for premium and $4.435 for diesel.

Todd Demler of Santa Barbara said it makes him glad he drives a Tesla.

He needs a charging station, but not gas.

The rising prices could steer others in that direction, something oil companies may not like.

An effort is underway to get people to walk or ride bikes during International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor of NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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