Keith McCord ReportingYou've probably noticed prices at the gas pump are heading upward. It always happens about this time of year.
When you see prices getting closer and closer to $2 a gallon, we all start complaining, but these prices are really close to a year ago at this time. Here's the rub though, experts predict prices will spike to record levels in a few months.
Filling up the tank will definitely cost us more this summer. The prices have started to jump the last few months, but you ain't seen nothing yet!
John Hill, Dir. Utah Petroleum Marketers Assn.: “Nationally our high last year was $1.73. And we are pennies from that, depending on where you buy your gas, at this point.”
Checking the prices around the valley today, they ranged from $1.53 to $1.75 for regular, depending on the location. But here's reality-- we're just beginning the gas-guzzling season.
This year there are a couple other factors that will raise the price: OPEC, for one.
John Hill, Dir. Utah Petroleum Marketers Assn.: “OPEC has raised their price based on a weak dollar. They want more money for crude, and consequently by reducing production, they get a bump in the price.”
And in the fall, a large California refinery will go off-line, reducing the supply further. Around the west, current prices are currently all over the map. Colorado and Wyoming are bargains for the moment; Utah and Idaho are in the middle; California, Nevada and Arizona have the highest right now, and, they're only going up.
John Hill, Dir. Utah Petroleum Marketers Assn.: “Analysts and experts around the country seem to think it’s going to surpass the two dollar mark and might even hit three dollars.”
Let's say we do go over that two-dollar threshold, say $2.10 a gallon. If you put 20-gallons in your tank at a $1.70 it comes to $34.00. When it goes to $2.10, the same fill up will cost $42, $8 higher. Over the summertime, that'll add up.