Gas prices up 15 cents at the lake: Highest price in lower 48 states |

Gas prices up 15 cents at the lake: Highest price in lower 48 states

Amanda Fehd

If you haven’t already noticed, gas prices in South Lake Tahoe rose 15 cents in December to an average $2.62 per gallon.

That’s the highest average price of gas in the lower 48 states, according to AAA, which tracks fuel prices. Wailuku, Hawaii averages $2.96 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

Gas prices throughout the nation also rose 15 cents in December after three months of declines to $2.32 a gallon, according to AAA. Average prices in Nevada rose 5 cents per gallon.

South Shore’s rise is one of the highest in California, where prices jumped only 4 cents in San Francisco and 3 cents in Los Angeles.

Sukhi Singh, manager of U.S. Gasoline near Lodi Street on Highway 50 said his costs went up 30 cents in the last three weeks, but he only raised his prices 27 cents.

“We are just trying to pay the bills; we are hardly surviving on these prices,” Singh said. “If the gas is more, we also pay more for the credit cards (processing fees).”

An increase in the price of crude oil to $63 a barrel was a factor in the rising prices, AAA officials said.

“We often see price increases in January,” said Sean Comey, spokesman for AAA of Northern California. “What’s particularly troubling for consumers is that the average price for the first month of 2006 is starting at a much higher level than it did a year ago.”

Prices are up 40 cents from a year ago.

The California Energy Commission reports refinery output is healthy for this time of year, up by nearly 2 percent compared to the same time last year, despite ongoing maintenance work that often disrupts production.

The least expensive gas in the U.S. is in Provo, Utah, where the average price is $2 per gallon, according to AAA reports.

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