Gas prices soaring statewide

Gas prices continue to rise across the nation due to supply and demand issues. Clovis pump prices Sunday averaged $1.89 a gallon. By Monday morning, several local gas stations had increased prices to $1.96 a gallon. (CNJ staff photo: Leslie Radford)

By Leslie Radford: CNJ Staff writer

o Prices in Clovis jumped as much as 7¢ overnight.

Most consumers in Clovis feel they are in the dark when it comes to understanding the world’s economy. And even more so when trying to figure out why fuel prices are soaring.

Dinah Johnson lives just across the state line in Texas. She said she spends about $100 per month to commute to work and shop in Clovis. While she said her Nissan Maxima gets fairly good gas mileage, she budgets for the fluctuation in daily prices.

“I don’t understand how gas can be one price one day and the next day it’s even more, or how it can dramatically vary from store to store in the same town,” Johnson said.

Gasoline went up as much as seven cents from Sunday night to Monday morning at some fuel stations in Clovis.

Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe saw the largest increases in New Mexico over the last week according to an AAA on New Mexico press release. “The national and the statewide average in New Mexico are up for the third consecutive week,” the release showed.

As of Friday, New Mexico’s average price for gas was $1.943 (32.1 cents higher than last year’s average), according to AAA.

The higher costs of fuel are due to the “petroleum industry pumping just barely enough fuel to keep the world’s economic engine humming,” and “analysts said the global supply tightness is likely to persist through 2005” because of economic expansion, according to the Associated Press.

“At the same time, major oil companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Texaco Corp. are hesitant about investing too much in new production” for fear of excess supply in the market that would cause prices to collapse.

The game of supply and demand results in retailers paying more to ship the product and they pass the buck on to the consumer.

College students live on tight budgets as it is, according to Clovis Community College student Nathan Weber. Weber lives in Portales. His sport utility vehicle costs him around $250 per month in gas to get to and from school.

“I spend way too much on gas,” he said. “It sucks.”

Weber believes if the price of fuel continues to rise, most people will either car pool or just pay the price. He doesn’t plan on making any adjustments to his lifestyle to accommodate the price he pays for gas.

As for Johnson, she said she will just drive less.

Gas prices as of Monday:
• Highest: $2.79 in Bridgeport, Calif.
• Lowest: $1.71 in Carney’s Point, N.J.
• U.S. average: $2.01

Source: www.gaspricewatch.com