Gas prices on the rise ahead of Memorial Day weekend

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) — Gas prices are on the rise for many reasons. That’s, of course, bad news for Utah drivers who plan to travel for Memorial Day weekend. A projected 36 million Americans plan to do the same.

One Utah driver says despite the traffic and high gas prices, she’s not changing her plans.

“We’re driving off to Bear Lake, so we’re going to have a weekend getaway up by the lake,” said Megan Moshier. “Anytime I get to take a trip, it’s not going to be affected by what the gas prices are. I’ll find a way to cut that cost somewhere else.”

According to AAA, a gallon of regular gas will cost you about $3.15. That’s about 75 cents more than this time last year.

“We feel your pain,” said Aaron Simpson, Chief Marketing Officer at Maverik. “I mean it costs us at the pump every day as well. We like it better when gas prices are lower. People tend to spend more at the store, more on their family and having fun.”

Simpson says there’s three main reasons why gas prices have increased:

  1. Refineries have switched to their summer blend for better margins
  2. Crude prices are rising
  3. A local refinery fire depleted resources

“For perspective, it’s taken about a million gallons of fuel out of our market everyday, which is ten to fifteen percent of gasoline market,” said Simpson. “So that puts a pinch on everybody else trying to get supply from other areas.”

The trucking industry is also feeling the effects but even more so because the cost is dramatically compounded.

For example, a typical driver travels 230 miles a week while per typical truck driver travels 3,000 miles per week.

“Nowadays, diesel is a lot more expensive,” said John Beck of Godfrey Trucking. “It’s cheaper to make. It’s just the byproduct of gasoline, but it’s the highest costing fuel that we use.”

And now that pain at the pump is costing consumers.

“That cost is carried over to the grocery store, so your cost of milk, your eggs, when fuel goes up, cost goes up,” said Beck.

“Always hoping they’ll go down, but it’s also one of those things where it’s like a necessary evil. Just get used to the fact that they’re this high,” said Moshier.

Simpson says unfortunately, there is no sign of a decrease in gas prices at this time. 

Officials project crude prices to continue to rise through the end of the year. They say when the refinery works again, prices may decrease slightly.

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