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Mar-04-2008 11:16printcomments

No Relief in Sight from Skyrocketing Gas Prices

Oregon's average for regular unleaded is just a few cents shy of the record high set last May.

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(PORTLAND, Ore.) - "Here it is early March, and the price of gas is just a few cents away from the record highs set last May." AAA Oregon Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds says, "The Oregon average shoots up another 11 cents this week to $3.36, on top of a 16-cent hike the week before.

The national average is up two-and-a-half cents to $3.17, after an 11-cent increase the week before. The price of crude oil has been in record territory, passing $103 per barrel in trade Monday."

Gas prices are expected to continue to rise as we approach the summer driving season. And with the continued weakness of the U.S. dollar, the price of crude oil is not expected to come down significantly in the short term. (Crude is traded in dollars.) Also, U.S. refineries will start to switch from winter fuel blends to the more expensive summer blends. $4-per-gallon gas is not out of the realm of possibility.

The skyrocketing price of gas is impacting consumption. The Energy Information Administration reports gas sales in the U.S. are down 1.1% in the past month. At the same time, gas inventories have been increasing over the past four months, reaching their highest levels in 14 years.

Gas prices continue to be much higher than they were a year ago. The national average was $2.48 last year, while Oregon's average was $2.61. Prices are up in all of Oregon's measured metropolitan areas and in Vancouver, WA. In Vancouver, prices are up 13 cents. In Salem and Medford/Ashland, prices are up 12 cents, and in Portland and Eugene/Springfield, prices are up 11 cents this week.

Salem’s average of $3.327 comes in as the lowest price in Oregon, with Portland’s cost coming in slightly higher at $3.344. In Eugene/Springfield the average price is $3.394, with Medford/Ashland drivers paying an average of $3.435. Self serve gas is selling for an average cost of $3.426 in Vancouver, Washington.

Oregon's gas prices are now fourth highest in the nation, up from sixth last week and 12th the week before. Hawaii continues to have the most expensive gas in the country at $3.54 per gallon, followed by California at $3.50, Washington at $3.44, Oregon, and New York at $3.33. New Jersey and Missouri have the least expensive gas in the country this week at $2.98 per gallon. They are the only two states with average prices below $3 per gallon, compared with three states last week and 22 the week before.

The national average for diesel is up 8 cents this week to $3.68 per gallon, compared to $2.68 a year ago. Oregon's average is up 12 cents to $3.69, compared to $2.70 a year ago. Hawaii again has the highest statewide average price for diesel at $3.94.

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$Two Dollars March 6, 2008 10:25 am (Pacific time)

The price of gas is the least of our problems, but we do need to get away from OPEC control, they are creating a scenario that will cause their own undoing, and this may be getting real ugly come this summer. Recall when the power went out back east? Remember the footage of the masses of New Yorkers with no way home. Now put that on a national scale, this may not make the environmentalists happy, but some major oil drilling and new refineries will be starting sooner rather than later. OPEC will increase production (like they always do) to head off our developing new energy sources, but it won't work much longer, we are getting wise to their methods.

Tabatha March 5, 2008 6:49 am (Pacific time)

Strider: perfect grammatical since? "Since"? :) lol

James March 5, 2008 6:44 am (Pacific time)

Marnell I switched to soy milk so I can still afford my country club dues. Whew, it's close, so maybe I'll also cut down on white truffles. Now that's what you call real sacrifice!

Albert Marnell March 4, 2008 7:24 pm (Pacific time)

Well I have some good news. I went to my local supermarket and milk was down about 70 cents a gallon. Maybe the government is subsidizing certain foods because otherwise people will start stealing and the jails are already full. If food gets too out of hand people should steal. What are you suppose to do...fight with social services? Worse yet if you have to work, they may throw you out of the country club. You will be the laughing stock on the golf humiliating!

Sue March 4, 2008 3:56 pm (Pacific time)

Cheap: you are right in theory, but in reality, people need to feed their kids. I spent more on a hybrid when I really didn't need a new car, but I was lucky that I could. It's our government that needs to step up the plate, so the rest of us can join them. Unfortunately, we all don't have the resources.

Cheap March 4, 2008 2:48 pm (Pacific time)

And I say we can’t afford being enslaved to a gas pump, no matter what product they try to sell us.

Sue March 4, 2008 2:21 pm (Pacific time)

Very nice, Cheap. However, most people aren't as lucky as you are to be able to afford the investment. Some people have to travel far for their job and drive an older model car or pick-up, because their jobs moved over-seas and they have to take what they get, often paying less than what they were used to. It isn't always about choices. I do applaud you for what you were able to do. Just remember, we do not control everything around us and we do not have all choices available to us.

Strider March 4, 2008 2:15 pm (Pacific time)

The author of this article uses to many hyphens, such as in "two-and-a-half cents", which makes perfect grammatical since without the hyphens. Also "an 11-cent increase is in error". Here we have a poor use of English.

Editor to Strider: admittedly this is a regular release that we send fairly straight up. I will pay more attention to these now as we completely agree with your findings.


Cheap March 4, 2008 1:42 pm (Pacific time)

I drive a Prius Hybrid that, about a year ago, I converted to a Plug-in Hybrid. I use Clean Domestic Wind Energy to reduce the amount for Dirty Foreign Oil I use. Think of also all the gallons of gas that are saved because the wind turbine transmits its energy to my home and gasoline on the other hand has to be shipped and driven to the station. Also, I can make electricity at home with solar panels and a small home wind turbine. I can do that with gasoline.

Sue March 4, 2008 1:13 pm (Pacific time)

Just curious, Cheap, what kind of a car do you have? I have a hybrid and it doesn't get that good of gas mileage.

Cheap March 4, 2008 11:34 am (Pacific time)

We are responsible for our own choices. I own a five seat midsize car that is larger then many midsize and compact cars on the road. No one should be forced to buy a car they don’t love. I love my car because I get over 100 mpg and I only have to fill the 10 gallon tank every third week. You may love your car because it is fast from the stop sign to the 30 mph, or you may love your car because it is taller then any other vehicle out there. That is fine. We both spend our money on what we like. You spend your money on gasoline, I spend my money on restaurants, electronics, and trips around the world. Isn’t it great we live in a free country where we can be responsible for our own decisions and we don’t have to blame anyone else? Now I’m in the market for a wind generator, solar panels, and an all electric car so I can just take myself out of this equation.

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