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Gas prices hit grim milestone in Salt Lake Valley

Gas prices hit grim milestone in Salt Lake Valley



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Andrew Adams and AP reporting It's the latest unwanted milestone for drivers during tough economic times: $4-a-gallon gasoline.

At the Sinclair Station on State Street and 4800 South in Murray, unleaded regular is going for $4 a gallon. Other locations in the Salt Lake Valley are approaching that amount.

Diane Goodman was looking for middle-grade gasoline for her truck this morning. She got out, looked at the prices and got back in.

"Of course I'm not going to pay $4.10 for what I need," she said. "I can get it cheaper elsewhere."

But economist Jeff Rubin says we should get used to it.

"I think this is only the beginning. We could easily see $4.50-a-gallon gasoline with these same oil prices, this year," he said.

"This isn't a spike. This isn't someone turning off the tap. This is a fundamental imbalance between demand and supply. A couple of Memorial Day weekends from now, we could be looking at $7-a-gallon gasoline," he explained.

Gas prices hit grim milestone in Salt Lake Valley

In Southern Utah, gasoline prices are even higher. For example, Utahgasprices.com reports the going rate in Blanding is as much as $4.19 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

AAA's daily Fuel Gauge report puts the nationwide average price of regular unleaded gasoline at $3.96 cents a gallon this morning. That's a penny more than yesterday. The average for premium is also up a penny, to a whopping $4.36 a gallon.

The continued runup comes even as the price of crude oil continues a decline that began with a $4.41-a-barrel retreat yesterday.

Analysts say a stronger dollar and falling demand outweighed an unexpected drop in U.S. stocks of crude.

Analysts say an investigation of U.S. oil markets, with a focus on possible price manipulation may also have contributed to oil's declines.

E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

(The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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