Bay Area residents seek out lowest prices for gas

February 21, 2012 8:58:06 PM PST
Bay Area gas prices went up another penny overnight. AAA reports the average price in San Francisco is now $4.08 per gallon, for regular. It's $4.03 in both San Jose and Oakland. So where can you find gas you can afford?

A gallon of regular was $4.23 Tuesday at the 76 station on First and Harrison streets in San Francisco. That means Chris Breuner will shell out $80 to fill the pickup he uses for his construction business. That gets passed on to his customers.

After years and years of enduring the ups and downs of gas prices in the Bay Area, many people now have their reliable lower-priced favorites. Harry Chan, who lives in Oakland, buys gas in Hayward, where Tuesday, $3.93 was a bargain.

"I come here all the time, nowhere is cheaper," Chan said.

Chevron says California's prices are higher than elsewhere because we have the cleanest burning fuel and highest taxes. And the recent jump is thanks to nervous traders worried about tensions over Iran's nuclear program.

"There's really no easy answer to this; if there was a quick fix we would have found it and implemented it," Chevron spokesperson Sean Comey said. "The fundamental truth is there are market forces that determine how much crude is gas prices are affected by market forces that determine how much crude oil, and therefore how much your gasoline, costs."

In 1999, when $1.83 per gallon seemed outrageous, Sacramento lawmakers asked the oil industry why the Bay Area paid more for gas than other parts of the state. Former state Sen. John Burton was there and says he never got a good answer.

"By and large oil companies are now and always have been big thieves," Burton said.

It may be the only place you can truly find cheap gas now, is in your memory.


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