LOCAL NEWS

Average gas prices pass $4 in some Utah counties

Mar 7, 2022, 10:18 AM | Updated: 3:37 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Gas prices across Utah have jumped over 40 cents since last week, bringing the state’s average to $3.85/gallon, according to AAA.

Average prices in seven counties — Beaver, Emery, Grand, Kane, Morgan, Summit and Washington — topped $4 per gallon on Monday, led by Beaver at $4.13.

Prices averaged $3.83 across the Wasatch Front Monday, and the cheapest gas prices were $3.49 in Piute County.

Utahns are feeling the squeeze and are nervous that prices may continue going up. Andres Flores has watched gas prices climb over the past couple of weeks, but the shock set in Monday morning.

“It’s getting ridiculous — $45 is what it would be to fill up my tank,” Flores said. “Now, I’m looking at $75. It’s a big increase for sure to fill it up two times a week.”

“I’m actually looking to buy a Honda — something that’s a four-cylinder, one of those older, cheap cars that you can get still for $1,000,” he added.

KSL TV’s Tamara Vaifanua heard similar gripes at nearly every gas station she visited Monday.

“Almost $80 today,” Jason Raymond said at the Salt Lake City gas station. “It wasn’t even empty. I figured I better get some in before it goes up again.”

Last week, gas prices averaged $3.40 in Utah — $0.45 cheaper than Monday’s average. This time last year, Utahns were paying an average of $2.71 per gallon of regular gas.

“The last time that Utah saw its highest average was back in 2008 where the price was $4.22 a gallon for gasoline,” said Aldo Vazquez, AAA spokesperson Aldo Vazquez.

Nationwide, gas prices are up 45 cents compared to last week, with the highest jumps being reported in Rhode Island (58 cents), Nevada (57 cents), Connecticut (56 cents), Kentucky (56 cents), Alabama (56 cents), according to AAA.

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Last year, the national average for a gallon of gas was $2.76 — $1.30 cheaper than Monday’s average.

The most expensive place to fill up your gas tank in the nation? California, where average gas prices hit $5.34 on Monday.

NBC Los Angeles reported gas stations near LA’s Chinatown were selling a gallon of regular gas for $6.50.

The Associated Press said prices were steadily rising before Russia invaded Ukraine, but that war and increasing calls for the United States to ban imports of Russian oil are adding to price jumps.

“As Russia’s war on Ukraine continues to evolve and we head into a season where gas prices typically increase, Americans should prepare to pay more for gas than they ever have before,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, told the AP in a statement.

Despite the higher gas prices, AAA doesn’t anticipate people putting off spring break travel.

“If anything, people will just adjust their spending habits or budget gasoline into their budgets for their vacations,” Vazquez said.

One way Utahns can save money at the pump — a lot of drivers buy the premium stuff, thinking it will make their car run better. But AAA says unless your car is turbocharged, you only need regular or mid-grade. It doesn’t really benefit cars that run on lower-grade octanes.

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Average gas prices pass $4 in some Utah counties