Gas prices down, but still too high for some
Gasoline prices may have plummeted by more than 20 cents over the last week locally and statewide, but motorists have yet to get some relief at the pump.
Despite the drop in prices, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline in the metropolitan areas of Porterville, Visalia and Tulare is still 44.5 cents a gallon higher than the record for Oct. 25 set last year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
AAA reports that a wholesale gasoline price collapse in California and the U.S. has resulted in price decreases not seen since 2008. The local average was $4.293 a gallon for regular on Friday — 22.2 cents lower than last week and 36.9 cents lower than the $4.662 new record price set on Oct. 9, according to the Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline statewide Friday was $4.312 per gallon, only about 2 cents higher than the local average.
For Porterville resident Trisha Tellez, the drop was trifling.
“Personally, there is a bit of a relief but at the same time I’m a full-time student so it’s still outrageous,” she said.
The 28-year-old Porterville College student said that though her commute to and from work is only about six miles “with running errands and dropping off and picking up my two kids from school and daycare,” it adds up.
On Friday, Tellez filled her Kia Spectra with $15-worth of fuel at C&L Mini Mart on the southwest corner of Olive Avenue and Main Street. The price of regular unleaded gasoline there on Friday was at $4.25.
“Today I’m only putting in about $15. I’m making a trip to Visalia and usually Lindsay is cheaper so I’m just pumping enough to get there, that way I can fill it up at a cheaper gas station,” she said.
A Springville resident who pumped $45.87-worth of supreme fuel at the Chevron station on Putnam Avenue and D Street Friday, said the decrease went unnoticed.
“It’s gotten so high that 20 cents — you don’t even notice. It’s just too much when you’re already paying three times the price that it should be,” she said. “That’s why I’m driving my kid’s car, because I have a big SUV which would be well over $100.”
The cost of regular unleaded gasoline there on Friday was at $4.45, and $4.65 for supreme.
“Prices still have about 20 cents to drop before erasing the spike that occurred at the start of October, but it’s encouraging to see such significant price drops,” AAA spokesperson Jeffrey Spring said in a news release issued Friday. “The decreases are a reflection of the fact that California’s temporary supply issue has been corrected, and also an adjustment in demand expectations on the part of wholesale and future traders.”
According to gasbuddy.com, as of Friday afternoon, the lowest gasoline price in Porterville stood at $4.06 at Eagle Feather Trading Post on Highway 190, near Success Valley Drive. A gas station along Highway 99 south of Tulare had regular unleaded at $3.99 a gallon, about where it was before it spiked a month ago.