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What goes down must come up

Gas prices start to increase again

Posted: January 9, 2009 8:13 p.m.
Updated: January 10, 2009 4:59 a.m.

Valencia resident Fred Iversen pumps gas Friday at the Alliance gas station at the corner of 2nd Street and Newhall Avenue. Alliance is selling regular unleaded for $1.99 per gallon.

The price of regular gas is creeping up to $2 per gallon, but Santa Clarita Valley motorists don't seem upset after having to pay twice as much last summer.

Gas at the Alliance gas station at Newhall Avenue and 2nd Street was $1.999 per gallon for cash-paid regular gasoline on Friday.

But Serafin Perez of Canyon Country, filling up a company delivery truck with diesel for $2.199 a gallon at Alliance, said prices are still reasonable.

"It isn't like a couple months ago when it was still way up there," he said. "But it will probably go back up. I know it will."

Station owner Saib Alrabadi said his gas prices are usually known for being one of the lowest in the valley.

"Even now I'm losing three cents a gallon because my cost right now is $2.03," he said. "I don't want it to go over $2 a gallon."

He said he hopes his prices will drop next week. According to a Valencia Auto Spa weekly survey of about 35 local gas stations, the lowest price for a gallon of regular was $1.759 at the Chevron at the corner of Newhall Avenue and Sierra Highway and the grand total average price for regular was $1.839 per gallon.

The Southern California average price for regular self-serve gasoline was about $1.50 the first week of December, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California spokesperson.

Californians were paying lower average gas prices than residents of 12 other states, Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring said.

"It's an unusual situation for this state to have prices within a dime of the national average," he said. "But it is a welcome bit of relief for Californians who have been particularly hard-hit by the economic downturn."

But Friday Spring's statements reflected a different situation.

"Gas prices across much of the country have continued dropping while California prices rose during the past couple of weeks," Spring said in a recent press release. "California gasoline wholesale prices rose sharply in December, partly in reaction to a bankruptcy filing by one state refinery."

Steve Sassoon, a salesman from Acton, said he wasn't happy with the rising prices as he loaded his Chevrolet Silverado with $51 worth of diesel fuel.

"(Gas) was at $1.93 in Arizona last week. Why do we have to pay more in California?" he asked.

While at the Chevron Friday morning, Larry Tiede of Sylmar said as long as prices don't rise too far over $2, he'll be okay.

Since he lost his Sylmar home in the October 2008 Sayre Fire, he said, "anything helps."


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