The average price of gas is well above $3.00 a gallon, but analysts are saying that price will seem like a bargain come spring time. By March or April the average price of regular gasoline is expected to range between $3.20 and $3.75 a gallon. " I don't want them going up, I mean they're already kind of stretching the wallet as it is right now" said Chico resident Jake Rocke. Lissa Maquardt also of Chico added " I think they're high enough as it is".
Fuel costs have risen nearly nine percent since December 1st. According to AAA, the national average for regular gasoline sits at $3.12 a gallon, that's 38 cents more than it was this time last year. And while most Americans are feeling the pinch, there's not much the average consumer can do about it. " You really can't pay too much attention to it cause you know you have to have the gas, and second what can you do about it anyway" explained Blair Harvey of Chico.
Americans typically drive less in the winter according to AAA, but even with less road trips many are still making drastic changes. For most, fueling up at the pump can't be avoided, but due to high gas prices many are now changing the way they travel. " I try not to drive as much as possible, just try to make it to work and to home" said Maquardt, Rocke added, " When I can I ride my bike to work if it's close enough and just you know avoid long road trips".
Fuel prices may rise and fall slightly over the next few months, but the average should stay well above three dollars a gallon, prices we haven't seen since 2008. " It's gonna be putting stress on a lot of people. Especially with the economy the way it is, so it's just gonna make things that much tougher" said Rocke.
The record high price for unleaded gas in the Chico and Paradise area was $4.59 gallon on June 24th of 2008.