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Drivers can only grin and bear high gas prices
More than a week ago, Chuck Mitchell gambled that driving from the Seattle area to Sacramento would be cheaper than flying.
His destination was the recent Autorama show at Cal Expo, where his wife was doing a professional photo shoot. Things did not work out so well.
"When I calculated the trip, gas was at $3.50 (per gallon)," said Mitchell, who was filling up his tank at the Shell station in Williams on Tuesday. Regular unleaded gasoline was $4.05 at the station.
He said he was surprised how quickly the prices escalated.
"It seemed the farther south we drove, the higher the prices got," Mitchell said.
Today, gas prices have eclipsed the $4.25 per gallon mark in the area, and some projections have it going up another 60 cents per gallon by summer.
This is not good news for the North State as unemployment rates continue to sit above the 11 percent mark.
The nationwide average gas price rose to $3.72 a gallon, up 2 cents from a day earlier, said motorist group AAA. One month ago the nationwide average was 30 cents less.
Some believe the cause of the skyrocketing increase is due to fears that tensions with Iran will lead to an all-out war causing a disruption in oil supplies.
As national economists predict economical improvements, that prophecy is difficult for the family living on an average income to swallow as more of every paycheck goes into the gas tank.
Right now California, along with eight other states, has the highest gas prices in the nation at an average of $4.31. The lowest prices in the country sit around $3.40 in states such as Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming, according to AAA.