Resting on his bike, next to a sign that screams sticker shock, Derrick Butler finds another reason to keep his car in the garage. He took a look at the $4.02 price for regular unleaded at a Chevron station and told us, "I don't like it, at all." Derrick is retired and can depend on his bike, but he knows others don't have that luxury. As he told us, "The people who have a lot of income issues, you know it's bad for them."
We're not in Tahoe, or anywhere in California. This is Reno, where it's official: $4 a gallon is back again. Down the street, it's just 3 cents cheaper. Filling up at a Shell station, Jim Holton is not worrying about it today. "I have a Shell credit card," he told us. "You don't think about it 'till you get the bill at the end of the month." Just this morning, the price on the board at the Shell station on went up from $3.95 to $3.99 a gallon. The manager told us it was because of the refinery fire in California. She told us she doesn't expect to see prices drop anytime soon.
If things go much higher, Teresa Sedgwick says her family will have to look at options. "Getting creative to make ends meet." Her response to the $56 total she rang up? "Yikes… it is frustrating. Everything's going up."
Across town, the "American" independent gas station off North McCarran at Northtowne raised prices by 10-cents a gallon Wednesday. $3.89 is now the cash price, $3.99 for credit cards. Granted there are cheaper places to buy, but either way the bar is painfully being raised.
Nevada's average price had been dropping ever since we hit a yearly high early April with $3.98. It hit a nice low in mid-July at $3.42, but lately we've been watching gas prices slowly creep back up. As of Monday, the average was $3.47, up 2.5 cents in the past week.
Analysts don't know yet how bad prices will get due to the refinery fire, but the effects are already showing up at many local stations. Back at the Chevron on Mt. Rose Highway, Derrick Butler doesn't blame the station owner for breaking the $4 regular barrier. "No, he has to make a profit. He's got to pay rent I'm sure." But he will spend some more time on his bike.
Sunday, May 19 2013 7:02 PM EDT2013-05-19 23:02:30 GMT
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