By Eric Norwood Jr.
CNJ staff writer
Construction worker Johnny Uribe is used to putting about $10 a day into his truck five times a week to make it to work and back. However, in the past couple of weeks, Uribe’s weekly gas total has risen from around $50 to $70.
“One day the price was $3.09, and two days later it was $3.29,” said Uribe, 22, as he filled his tank.
Clovis is on pace with the state average with a price of a gallon rising 20 cents in the last week, according to gasbuddy.com.
Prices typically climb higher during the spring when refineries cut production to do seasonal maintenance. A regulated switch to summer-blend gasoline can also limit supplies, just as demand strengthens.
The auto group AAA expected peak prices of $3.55 to $3.75 a gallon would be lower than last year, when the national average jumped 49 cents to $3.79 a gallon in just 41 days.
“High gas prices are a direct hit to our income and our livelihood,” said Philip Gonzalez, a claims representative who said he is spending approximately $40 more per week on gas compared to about a month ago.
“At the end of the day, I have to have it, I have to get to work. Gas is a necessary evil,” said Steven Cain, 33, a Portales firefighter.
“That’s the way the cookie crumbles, I guess. We’re looking into getting us a smaller car,” said Debbie Galvan, a certified nursing assistant, as she filled up the tank of her pickup truck.
More fuel efficient vehicles seems to be one solution to the problem, according to Cain.
“I had a truck that got 17 miles per gallon. So I went out and bought a car, and now I get 35 miles to the gallon.”
“Winter weather, weak demand and sufficient supplies have kept gas prices relatively low recently, but this trend may not last much longer,” said Bob Darbelnet, president and CEO of AAA.