Gas prices fall slightly |

Gas prices fall slightly

The cost of filling up at the South Shore has dropped 10 cents a gallon, according to a new report from AAA of Northern California, which tracks fuel prices as a service to consumers.

The statewide average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline dropped to $3.26, down 12 cents per gallon since the last AAA monthly report on May 16.

“Considering the massive run-up in prices we’ve seen lately, the latest developments only amount to a modest decrease,” said Sean Comey, spokesman for AAA of Northern California, “but at least the cost of fuel is moving down instead of up for a change.”

The average price in California has risen 90 cents per gallon in a year.

Eureka edged out South Lake Tahoe by 4 cents for the most expensive gas in Northern California at $3.44 per gallon. The average price in South Shore Lake Tahoe is $3.40.

According to the California Energy Commission, California gasoline refineries have reached normal production levels for this time of year.

Decreased output earlier this spring left fuel inventories below historical averages. The price of crude oil, the raw material from which gasoline is made, is falling.

Comey said many factors are contributing to the rising cost of gasoline. Production in the U.S. Gulf Coast has not completely recovered from last year’s devastating hurricanes. Iraq is still producing oil at below pre-war levels. Violence in Nigeria continues to undermine petroleum output. Recent statistics from the Energy Information Administration indicate demand for gasoline is increasing despite high prices.

The least expensive gasoline in the country is found in Oklahoma City, Okla., where regular unleaded costs an average of $2.65.

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