Gas prices climb higher

Tension in Middle East could be cause, AAA says
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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After some relief at the pump last month, gas prices are on the rise again hereabouts, according to AAA of Northern California. Some Auburn residents say they haven’t noticed prices are up about 9 cents per gallon, while others say they fear prices may go up even more. “I stop at a lot of different gas stations,” said Jeanne Lenney, of Garden Valley, while filling up at Rowdy Randy’s Gas Station in Auburn. “It seems like it’s going up again. I drive like 100 miles a day, so I spend a lot on gas.” Lenney said she has noticed some trends in gas prices. “I know it seems like every summer it goes up and then it goes down,” Lenney said. “This year it didn’t go down very much. They are predicting it’s going to get even higher.” The average price per gallon in Northern California is $3.67. In Sacramento the average is $3.63. South Lake Tahoe is the only metro area in Northern California where prices went down, about six cents to $3.82 a gallon. Chris McCaughna, of Auburn, said he isn’t sure why gas prices fluctuate the way they do. “I haven’t really been paying attention,” MCcaughna said. “I don’t understand why they go up and down the way they do.” Matt Skryja, a spokesperson for AAA of Northern California, said in a press release Tuesday that tensions in the Middle East may account for the most recent hike in prices. “Consumers have been seeing a steady increase in gas prices ever since late last year,” said AAA Insurance spokesperson Matt Skryja. “The recent jumps at the pump are largely driven by investors’ buying behavior, which is linked to real, perceived, or potential impacts on supply and demand worldwide. Recent tensions between Iran and the U.S. in the Persian Gulf sparked concerns about possible restrictions on oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz. Fears over this potential impact to supply helped push the price upwards.” Reach Sara Seyydin at