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Locals load up as travelers wade through hiking gas prices

STAFF WRITER

BARSTOW• Paulette and Claude Marshall normally travel to Barstow from Newberry Springs two to three times a week. But the rising cost of a gallon of gas will likely change that.

On Monday, the couple loaded their truck with several large canisters filled with 75 gallons of fuel totaling $300 to “hedge against” hiking prices. They said they’ll try to limit their trips to once a week.

“It’s disconcerting when you’re on basically a fixed income,” Paulette Marshall said. “And when gas prices go up so much, you have to do a lot less and there’s nothing you can do about the price of gas except hedge against it. We saw on TV this morning that they’re expecting $5 a gallon soon.”

“Once you have it, you can store it,” Claude Marshall said.

In San Bernardino County the average price for a gallon of gas was $3.67 on Jan. 27. Two weeks later the average price had risen by 44 cents to $4.11 on Monday, according to the gas-tracking website GasBuddy.com. Experts are reporting high crude prices, refinery shutdowns and early financial market speculation as the cause, according to an article by the Christian Science Monitor.

“It was like $3 from where we were traveling and now it’s almost $5,” traveler Nicole Lealofi said as she filled up at the USA gas station on Main Street.

Lealofi said she was with a group of college students driving from Utah to Los Angeles. Their travel budget has risen by a couple of hundred dollars during their journey.

“They suck,” Lealofi said of the prices. “They’re horrible and I have no clue why they’re going up,”

Don Findahl, another traveler at the Circle K gas station on Main Street, said he travels every two weeks for work as a plumber.

“It’s better here than San Diego. It just makes it harder, you know. Just one more thing when the price of everything else costs more,” he said.

The price for gas on Monday was the highest on record for the calendar date, according to a report by AAA. On Friday, prices reached over $4 in California for the first time since Nov. 3.

Contact Brooke Self at BSelf@DesertDispatch.com or (760) 256-4123.


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