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Gas prices hit new record


On Wednesday, June 5, a new record was set in Cedar Springs when the price jumped to $4.29. That’s higher than in August 2008, when it rose to $4.25.

This most recent jump came on the heels of a 29-cent price hike Saturday, June 1, when gas prices in Cedar Springs jumped from $3.86 to $4.15, then dropped early in the week to $4.00.

While the national average price has fallen, Michigan now has the second highest gas prices in the country. Only Hawaii is more expensive.

Reportedly the BP Whiting Refinery in Indiana and Exxon Mobil Joliet Refinery in Illinois have been down for major facility upgrades or issues.

“While the national average has given up some ground to start the driving season, motorists have certainly seen a lot of ups and downs in different areas of the country,” said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. “One thing remains the same throughout the United States, and that is we’re still reliant on oil refineries to process crude oil into gasoline. When they go partially offline whether expected or unexpected, there’s going to be tightness in gasoline supply, and that has an almost immediately impact at the gas pump,” DeHaan said.

What are you doing to help alleviate the pain at the pump? Send us your tips. Email them to news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Gas prices top $4.00

Gas prices shot up from $3.87 per gallon to over $4.00 this week for the first time since August 2008.

Prices in the Cedar Springs area averaged $4.15, before dropping down to $4.08 or $4.09 Tuesday. In 2008, they hit $4.25.

According to Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan, of Gas Buddy.com, such spikes are usually seen in April. “We’re 31 cents per gallon

ahead of our year ago pace (as of Monday), and I’m seriously contemplating revising my January forecasts upward having seen things race higher, faster than expected. If there’s any ounce of good news for motorists, its that such high prices so quickly may mean prices will peak in April rather than May,” DeHaan said.

Some experts have suggested we might see $5 per gallon. Is the high price of gas causing you to cut down on your driving? What are you doing to save gas? Email us at news@cedarspringspost.com or comment on this story on our website at cedarspringspost.com.

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Gas rises above $4

The price on Wednesday, April 27.

Drivers across the area were stunned Monday when gas prices surged to $4.17—the highest they’ve been since summer 2008, when they hit $4.25 per gallon for regular.
There does not appear to be a shortage, and the rise in price is being blamed on legal speculation. Whatever the reason, drivers are taking steps to minimize the impact on their pocketbook.
Landon Case told us on Facebook that he now lives in Los Angeles, and their price is $4.50. He says he has been using public transportation, and that it would affect how much he travels this summer.
Victoria Gonzalez said her family won’t be going far from home this summer either. A “staycation” and pool parties will be more in line with their budget.
Dan Webb recommended driving more fuel efficient cars, but others noted that they should make them more affordable. Another reader said he donates plasma twice weekly to help pay for gas.
Other readers have noted that they go slower on the expressway to save on fuel.
Several readers told us that they think the government should be doing something to stop the rising prices.
Do you have any hints for drivers? Email us at news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Gas prices near $4

Gas prices hit a high this week that hasn’t been seen since the summer of 2008. Gas was $3.96 in Cedar Springs, with Admiral being $3.95 at press time on Wednesday.
Michigan is one of several states seeing the high end of the gas prices, but gas is approaching $4 per gallon around the country.
There are signs, however, that Americans may be cutting back on driving because of the high prices. Sales dropped 3 percent at most of the nation’s major gas-station chains, according to a March survey by the Oil Price Information Service.
What are you doing to offset the high gas prices? Write and tell us at news@cedarspringspost.com.
Click here to see what you can do for your car when the gas prices rise.

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How to spend less on fuel when gas prices rise

(ARA) – Remember when $4 seemed like an outrageous amount to spend on a gallon of gasoline? Now that number doesn’t seem so far-fetched. While you can’t do anything to control the unrest in the Middle East or oil rig explosions that could lead to gas prices spiking at a moment’s notice, there are a few things you can do to help ease the pain of high gas prices.
While buying a more fuel-efficient car might be an option for some, new and used cars that get more miles per gallon tend to be more in demand – and more expensive – when gas prices are high. If a new car isn’t an option for you, implementing the following changes can help ensure that you get the most from the fuel in your gas tank:
* Keep the gas you buy in your car. When gas prices are low, stealing gas would likely be more trouble than it’s worth, but when prices are high, it’s not uncommon for thieves to siphon gas from vehicles, especially those with larger tanks. Adding a locking gas cap can be done for much less than the cost of a tank of gas. In addition to preventing theft, locking fuel tank caps can also prevent anyone from tampering with your gas tank.
* Keep your tank full. While you’re looking to reduce the amount of gasoline you are using, constantly running your car with the tank close to empty can wear down your fuel pump. “The gasoline in the tank keeps the fuel pump cool. Take away the gas and the fuel pump runs hot and has a shorter life,” says Tom Taylor, engineer and vice president of RockAuto.com. If you have an older car that has accumulated dirt and rust at the bottom of the tank, keeping a full tank can help your fuel burn cleaner.
* Keep your car in shape. Keeping your engine properly tuned improves fuel efficiency by an average of 4 percent and repairing a major issue like a faulty oxygen sensor could improve efficiency by up to 40 percent, according the U.S. Department of Energy. The RockAuto.com parts catalog has oxygen sensors from $10 to more than $100 depending on the car,” says Taylor. Especially if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you could quickly recoup the cost of an oxygen sensor or other repair after as little as one tank of gas through improved fuel economy.
* Keep your tires inflated properly. Keeping your tires at the optimal level not only keeps you safer, but can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent, according to the Department of Energy. Your owner’s manual should tell you the proper psi (pounds per square inch) levels for your vehicle.
* Drive for optimal gas mileage. How you drive can affect how much gas you use. Most cars run at peak efficiency at around 60 mph, with fuel economy decreasing sharply when traveling faster. Aggressive driving with rapid acceleration and slowing will also have a negative effect on your fuel economy.
* Reduce weight and drag. Getting rid of items such as roof equipment when they aren’t being used can help your car become more aerodynamic and run more efficiently. Keeping unnecessary items in your car, especially if they are heavy, can also make your car work harder and use more fuel than it needs to.
By adding up the small savings gained by each of these tips, you can really notice a difference on how much you are paying at the pump, especially over a long period of time.

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Gas prices continue to rise

Motorists filling up their tanks may see an unpleasant surprise at the pump. The price for a gallon of regular self-serve gasoline was predicted to go up to $3.49-$3.59 throughout Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky on Wednesday. For some gasoline stations this will mean increasing prices as much as 40-cents per gallon compared to prices earlier this week. Here in Cedar Springs, it was $3.39 as of press time Wednesday morning.

“The rise in gasoline prices is due to increasing crude oil prices as Middle East violence continues to make oil exports risky. We’ve seen wholesale gasoline prices continue to rise at the fastest pace since Hurricane Katrina,” said GasBuddy Senior Petroleum Analyst, Patrick DeHaan.

DeHaan is concerned that we may see a “double whammy” at gasoline pumps. He explained that Middle East violence could continue to result in higher gas prices as oil demand also increases ahead of the summer driving season. He expects prices to rise to an average of between $3.65 and $4.05 by the Memorial Day weekend.

“We could see prices spike above $4-per gallon if the situation in the Middle East isn’t resolved soon,” he notes.

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Gas prices jump 25 cents

Gas prices were $3.35 in Cedar Springs Wednesday.

Gas prices took a hike Tuesday, when they jumped to $3.39 in Cedar Springs and across the metro Grand Rapids area. That was a 25-cent jump that had people lined up at Admiral on Main and Muskegon, historically the last gas station in the area to raise its price. The price had shifted downward to $3.35 at press time Wednesday.

Tom Kloza, publisher and chief energy analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, said in a recent blog that if not for the Egyptian uprising, we would probably be looking at cheaper prices for gasoline and diesel this month.

He also explained that our gasoline inventory is at its highest since 1989, but that it’s winter gasoline. Pipelines and terminal operators will soon be purging the supply system from winter gasoline (which needs to be volatile because of cold temperatures) to spring/summer gasoline, which requires much lower vapor pressure.

“My best guess is that U.S. refinery runs will scrape bottom in late February or early March, and thereby incite a 2011 round of “petronoia” that will lift nationwide retail prices to $3.50-$3.75 gallon,” predicted Kloza.

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