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Holy Gas Prices! Ten Cent Increase in 1 Hour in Mountain View

Three corners of Shoreline Boulevard have gas stations and cars have begun to queue up guess where? At the cheapest one.

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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Tim October 06, 2012 at 03:31 AM
While, I generally blame the State of CA for these problems (not waiving CARB regulations so we can get supply from out of state) something isn't right if a station is raising prices more than once per day. In fact, in NYS, it is illegal for a station to raise prices more than once a day. They aren't getting deliveries more than once per day, right? So how is it justified? They shouldn't be allowed to raise prices on speculation. It should be based on their wholesale costs plus their normal profit margin.
Tim October 06, 2012 at 03:38 AM
"Why should Arco or Shell raise their prices because of Chevron's problems?" Really, is this what people think? What's more scary is that people with this logic vote. Arco stations, which are independently owned by the way, purchase their gas from wholesalers like anyone else. All stations are impacted by this. In fact, it's the smaller mom and pop ones that hurt more because they don't have the purchasing power that the branded stations do.
Tim October 06, 2012 at 03:39 AM
"gas prices have soared faster and sharper than any other state in the nation." They are actually falling nationally, not rising.
Jim Neal October 06, 2012 at 06:29 AM
The city council is telling stores how much to sell paper bags for, why don't they just set the price of gas while they're at it?
juan aranda October 06, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Juan As am told at home, refill now, for tomorrow it will change again. My answer? Use the car less. Now I spend 'bout $20. every two weeks and travel less. Use my e mail more. Its called adjusting. You combine your trips. Cut down my volunteering at different organizations. My $ after retiring is much less, and expenses keep on rising. Maybe I should go back into the work force (?) at my age????
Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez October 06, 2012 at 03:35 PM
So glad I filled up a few days ago. I live in SJ (far away from Caltrain and Light Rail) and work in Mountain View. We carpool a lot, but still rely on our car. MIght have to work from home more, now.
Marn-Yee Lee October 06, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Totally glad to have an electric as a second car. My family just opt to use our electric car almost exclusively, and only use the gasoline car for day trips.
Tim October 07, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Juan, it's called tyranny in the form of an out of control state government. It doesn't have to be this way. There is plenty of oil but the state is hindering the development of new refineries and not allowing the importation of gasoline from out of state refineries that are flush with supply at this time of year. The national average right now is about $3.75/gal... http://www.bakersfieldgasprices.com/Price_By_County.aspx?state=CA&c=usa
Claudia Cruz (Editor) October 07, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Hmmm, that's what I meant to say. Bad word choice on my part. However, the national average gas price is still the highest it's been all year $3.81. I wonder if people along the border of CA and NV, AZ, OR go there for gas now?
Claudia Cruz (Editor) October 07, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I think in Mountain View because it's flat city and there are supermarkets spread out, people can get the basic necessities if they chose not to drive. I will start biking and walking more. I also live next to the VTA , so I'll try that more too.
Claudia Cruz (Editor) October 07, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Marn-Yee, I wish electric cars were more affordable! Also, charging stations aren't readily available. I think in another 5 years.
Claudia Cruz (Editor) October 07, 2012 at 06:37 PM
At least you carpool. Imagine if you took both cars! Yikes!
Tim October 08, 2012 at 05:42 AM
You know, I don't understand this push to electric cars. Do you know what would happen if even half the cars on the road were plug in electric? It would cripple an already fragile power grid. I think I'm going to break down and buy a natural gas Honda Civic. CNG is cheap and clean and it's eligible for the new green/white car pool sticker.

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