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Gas prices down, but still high, locals say

National average under $4
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Gas prices may have dropped this month, but many people filling up at Auburn-area gas stations say they are still fed up with the high cost of fuel. Northern California gas prices are averaging $4.23 per gallon of regular unleaded fuel, a drop of 10 cents since last month, according to a press release issued by AAA of Northern California this week. “Yes they have gone down a couple of pennies or so,” said Sandra Reese, of Applegate, who was filling up at a gas station in Auburn Friday. “I think it’s totally out of proportion to what we should be paying. We are just being gauged by the oil companies.” Reese said she recently bought a new vehicle that gets better gas mileage than her previous one, but it still costs her about $50 to fill up her gas tank. The slight drop in prices can be attributed to investor’s perception of changes in U.S. job data and relations in the Middle East, according to AAA. “Crude oil prices are declining as weak U.S. jobs data and reports that Iran might be open to compromise on its nuclear enrichment program both put downward pressure on oil prices,” said Matt Skryja, AAA Insurance spokesperson. “These types of factors impact oil prices, and therefore gas prices, because investors’ buying activity continues to be the dominant influence on prices.” Flo Faoro, of Newcastle, said she usually tries not to look at the price when she is filling up her Honda CRV. “What are you going to do? You just pay,” Faoro said. “We try to have vehicles that get good gas mileage. The hardest one is a large truck that we have. It’s over $100.” Faoro said she thinks people were angrier the first time gas prices were over $4, but maybe have gotten more used to it since then. The average price of gas in the nation is under the $4 mark at $3.96 per gallon of regular unleaded fuel. The average price in California is $4.26, according to AAA. “I think it’s not as shocking because we have seen it,” Faoro said. “If it goes to $5 people will be screaming.” Liam Laeayo, a student at Placer High School, said even as a newer driver, he isn’t happy about the gas prices either. “They are absolutely horrible,” Laeayo said. “It’s hard. I can only work part-time right now.” Mitch Wilson, of Foresthill, said it costs about $40 to fill up his Jeep Wrangler. The biggest challenge is never knowing exactly what the prices will be, he said. “I’m not happy with the way they fluctuate so much. From season to season it changes,” Wilson said. “Our salaries aren’t changing. They are always at one level.” Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.