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Gas prices close on $4

• Mid-grade reaches milepost at more than 30 stations.

Posted: April 26, 2008 3:01 a.m.
Updated: June 27, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
The price for a gallon of mid-grade gasoline hit the $4 mark this week in the Santa Clarita Valley while regular unleaded moved yet closer to the mark, according to a weekly gas survey.

Seven local stations are charging at least $4 for a gallon of mid-grade and all but four of the 34 locations surveyed have begun charging at least $4 for a gallon of premium grade gas, according to a survey conducted Thursday by Randy Cressall, owner of Valencia Auto Spa.

In the meantime, the figures show that a gallon of regular grade continues to hover around $4 and remain on the increase from previous weeks.

Cressall's assessment shows that the most expensive station for regular grade is the 76 station at Lyons and Newhall avenues, where a gallon of regular unleaded is at $3.99.

The cheapest find is the Valencia Auto Spa where a gallon of regular runs at $3.73.

Overall, the average price of unleaded is $3.89 a gallon, a seven cent rise from last week's gas assessment.

Likewise, the average for mid-grade is $3.99 while the average for premium grade is $4.09.

Just as local prices are on the increase, AAA and the Oil Price Information Service report that the national average hit a record $3.51 a gallon on Tuesday. That number is 66 cents higher than last year.

Jason Crawford, economic development manager for the city, said the increase has led to an absolute impact on the local economy.

He views two major outcomes to the rising gas prices.

"If they are spending a larger amount on their gas, that's less money they have to spend on other things whether it's mandatory bills or retail spending," he said. "It lowers the amount of consumer activity, which helps to further depress the economy."

The other impact is that businesses facing rising fuel charges end up raising their prices, which are then passed on to the consumer.

Although speculation has been blamed on the increase in prices, Crawford is unsure about the specific reason.

"I wish we knew why it was heading in this direction so we could stop it and turn it around," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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