Utahns feel the jump at the pump

Mar 7, 2022, 6:35 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:38 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Gas prices were up again in Utah Monday, after the national average for a gallon of gas broke $4 for the first time since 2008.

The price jump comes as the U.S. and Europe allies weigh whether to ban Russian oil imports — Russia’s most valued asset. But some worry that could provoke Vladimir Putin, cause global economic problems and push historically high gas prices even higher.

The average price in Utah was above $3.85 Monday, according to AAA. That’s 45 cents higher than last week and $1.10 more than it was at this time last year.

Some gas stations across Salt Lake County climbed as high as $4.29 per gallon Monday. And drivers in Utah are feeling the increase.

“Yeah, we are. We are,” said Carl Biondolillo, as he filled up at a Sinclair in Draper that was selling regular, unleaded gas for $4.19 a gallon. “I’d say that if we continued producing our own energy in the states that we wouldn’t have these rises that we see right now.”

“There’s really nothing I can do about it. I’m not going to stop driving,” said Brittany Benson, who works as an assistant at someone’s home. “I mean, I go through a tank of gas in like four or five days now and it cuts into my profits.”

Benson recently got married, bought a puppy and moved into a home in Bluffdale. Most days of the week, she drives to Sandy twice a day. When she spoke to KSL, she was filling up at a Chevron where regular gas was $4.29 per gallon.

“It’s not like I’m asking her to pay more for gas. But I’m paying way more for gas. So, it sucks,” she said.

According to AAA, the highest recorded average price of a gallon of gas that Utah has seen is $4.22. That was back in July 2008.

“What we’ve seen over the last year at least, coming out of the pandemic was that people weren’t deterred by higher gas prices,” said Aldo Vazquez. “They were still going to get out there and travel. And we can only anticipate that will continue in 2022.”

Still, KSL found some drivers were making changes to their driving habits.

“It seems to me that it shouldn’t be this way,” said Mark Diederich. “I think there could be a little better control with respect to how we manage gas prices.

Diederich owns a heating and air conditioning company. He has eight company trucks to fill up. He says they now take time in the morning to map out their jobs to avoid unnecessary driving.

“Gas prices have been difficult to deal with with respect to work,” he said.

“I mean, we’ve gone through a pandemic two years, coming out of it. Should have a good life and now all the sudden look what we’re doing?” said Pat Patty.

“I was going to buy a second car. I canceled that order. Because I can’t afford the gas on a second car.”

Patty is an army veteran, retired and on a fixed income. He has already changed his driving habits.

“We wrote out where we were going to go. We’re going to go out to the farthest distance first and work our way back home.”

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