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Gas prices trickle down

Welcome relief after hitting record highs

BARSTOW • At the USA gas station on Main Street, gas prices peaked at $4.69 a gallon in early October. Two weeks later, at the same station, gas was $4.29 a gallon.

The sudden price hike in gas at the beginning of the month has come back down by approximately 40 to 50 cents.

Local residents said they’ve felt the effects of record prices, with more customers cutting back.

Pamela Moore, a single mother and lifetime Barstow resident, said recent increases have hit her hard. Currently she’s borrowing her cousin’s sedan in order to avoid driving her own minivan and she’s also postponing appointments in town to hold out for lower prices.
“It’s limited me on my driving,” she said. “I have to save the gas.”

As he refueled his mid-sized truck at the Barstow Station on Main Street, resident Gilbert Silva said he’s cut back on eating out and on outside activities to budget for the extra costs.
“Now I buy a quarter tank instead of filling up,” he said. “My job requires a lot of driving, so it’s really taken a toll.”

Lakisha Slay, assistant manager at the Barstow Station, said that business hasn’t stopped since prices rose at the beginning of the month.

“We’ve still been busy. It hasn’t affected us at all,” she said. “People complained about it but they still had to get gas.”

Since she’s worked at the Circle K run station, though, Slay says she’s seen prices rise from as low as $1.30 in July 2008 to the $4.28 a gallon cost today.

“Customers ask, ‘Is gas going to go down?’ ” she said. “Customers want to know when the prices are going down.”

Analysts in the state expect the $4 a gallon price will remain constant through the end of the year due to problems at aging gas refineries in the state causing delays in production, CNN reported.

The sudden spike at the beginning of the month was also due to shortages of the summer blend of gas and because stations are now in the process of switching over to the cheaper winter blend.

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