Residents returning home and commuters leaving Mountain View for the weekend felt the sticker shock of the increasing gas prices.
At 5:15 p.m. unleaded regular gas cost $4.29 at the Arco gas station at the intersection of W. Middlefield Road and Shoreline Boulevard; by 6:15 p.m. gas had increased by 10 cents to $4.39. Prices for unleaded plus and premium also rose by the same amount.
"It's getting ridiculous and no one wants to do anything about it," said Jerry Eldredge, 84, who lived nearby the Arco and was pumping gas. "Why should Arco or Shell raise their prices because of Chevron's problems?"
Eldredge addressed the issues caused by the August fire at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond that has since caused supply disruptions. Along with issues at the ExxonMobile refinery in Torrance, and California gas prices have soared faster and sharper than any other state in the nation.
The gas station attendant shared that throughout the day people complained to her about the price.
"'Why is it so expensive? Why has the price gone up? My salary is still the same! This is only happening in California,'" Georgina said people asked and told her. "They said a lot of things."
But while there was a continuing stream of cars waiting to fill-up at Arco station, across the street at the Chevron and Shell gas stations appeared almost deserted. The price at Shell was $4.69.
At the Chevron station unleaded gas was priced at $4.83 and there Cheryl Tsui filled up her tank. She spent $74.23 on 14 gallons for her Mercedes Benz.
"I had some gas left and could have waited another two days, but this might be the cheapest day," she said.
Tsui, a resident of Palo Alto, noticed the cheaper gas at the Arco station—still at $4.29—but she's a loyal Chevron customer. In fact, of the three Chevron stations she frequents—including the one near her home on Embarcadero Road and Highway 101—this was the cheapest.
"I'm not much of a bargain hunter," she said.
Also filling up at the Chevron was Julius Quiñones a 23-year-old from San Jose. He had a large truck, but he didn't fill up. Quiñones only added $12—enough to get home.
Gas will hit $5 the weekend of Oct. 5 and may not decrease until late October because of the switch to winter grade fuel at the already struggling refineries, according to Investor Business Daily.
This does not bode well for consumers who want relief at the pump much sooner.
"Us poor can't do anything about it," Eldredge said.
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