High gas prices pinch Yuba-Sutter wallets
Yuba County's Richard Everton is the proud owner of a classic 1964 Buick Skylark.
He avoids driving it whenever he can.
"When gas is like this, I ride the motorcycle as much as possible, unless I have to go get groceries," Everton said while pumping gasoline on Tuesday at the Full Stop station on North Beale Road in Linda. "That's the only reasons I'm using the car today."
Like everyone else, Everton's pocketbook has absorbed stiff hits at the pumps, especially since Oct. 1 when a power outage at an ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance caused sharp price spikes. By Friday, the refinery was back to normal daily production, but consumers were already feeling the squeeze.
Over the weekend, Gov. Jerry Brown directed the state Air Resources Board to allow the sale of cheaper winter-grade gasoline to ease the strain on supplies. Typically, the winter blend is not allowed on the California market until the end of October, AAA of Northern California said in a press release.
Authorities hope prices will drop in coming weeks.
In California, which boasts the highest prices in the nation, average gasoline prices have climbed 50 cents since early September, according to AAA.
National prices hover around $3.82 a gallon, up 42 cents from a year ago. In California, the average price of regular is $4.67, about 86 cents higher than this time last year, AAA said.
In Marysville, AAA said, the average cheapest gasoline price rose 49 cents since last month, averaging about $4.58 a gallon.
According to GasBuddy.com, the cheapest prices available on Tuesday in Yuba City were found at the Arco station at Colusa and Gray avenues, where a gallon of regular was $4.36. Four Yuba City stations tied for the highest price at $4.69.
Marysville's Mark Mailloux said he is buying less gasoline each trip to the pump.
"Instead of filling up, I just get enough to get by," Mailloux said. "I think it should go back down to where it's supposed to be — under $3."
In Yuba City, Jerry Lee said gas prices have forced him to cut back just about everywhere. He was even considering giving up cigarettes.
"Those things are outrageous, too," Lee said. "No riding jet skis, buying less gas each time. I'd pay anything less than what it is now."
Rick and Peggy Hayter own a carpet cleaning business in Yuba City and said they've started spending $700 to $750 a week on gasoline.
"And that's trying to conserve as much as possible," Rick Hayter said.
In Linda, Everton finally finished filling the tank on his Buick.
"As long as it was under $4, I tried not to cry about it too much," Everton said. "But, when it gets over $4, it affects everyone I know."
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