Have that anxious feeling as you pull into the gas station to fill it up? Yes. You are right. The price has jumped up in the past week by at least 3 cents. But, first, let’s look at last year.
In 2009, the Eastern Sierra braced for $3 per gallon gasoline. Now, it’s virtually a way of life. As time passes, we forget what used to seem like a high price and what seems normal.
In November of last year, prices in the Owens Valley ranged from $2.93 to $3.30 per gallon of regular unleaded. In Mammoth Lakes, $3.60 per gallon. In November of 2009, the prices stayed pretty much the same as August. In between, prices had dropped by as much as 14 cents per gallon. Time of year seems to have a lot to do with things.
Fast forward to today. According to the Auto Club the average price of gasoline in California was $3.07 a gallon, up 11 cents from February 9th. The prices have climbed here in Inyo-Mono, too. Prices all over loom higher this year over last.
In the Owens Valley, prices for a gallon of regular unleaded range from $2.97 up to $3.15. In Mammoth Lakes, prices sit at $3.48 to $3.49 per gallon.
Ironically, we have to pay more, the experts say, because the economy has improved. They also say that the soft demand for gasoline will somewhat keep a lid on prices. Another factor – California refineries are switching over to more expensive spring/summer gasoline blends.
Will we ever see the $2 per gallon price return? None of the experts have ventured a guess on that one.