Gas prices drop — area drivers yawn

The average price of gas has droppedfor the first time since January after hitting an all-time high in May, but drivers for the most part seemed unfazed, saying prices will have to come down substantially before they stop shopping around.

The average price of gas dropped seven cents to $3.11 a gallon nationwide from last month’s price of $3.18, according to the latest Lundberg Survey, a biweekly gas price-tracking report released Monday.

San Francisco gas prices, among the nation’s most costly, averaged $3.52 on Monday, down from a May average of $3.69, AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said. Oakland and San Jose rates were about 14 cents cheaper than San Francisco’s prices, according to AAA.

The amount of foreign gas consumed in the United States has ballooned from 2.7 percent in 1981 to about 12 percent in 2006, oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said.

A jump in foreign imports from countries such as Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom was the biggest factor in the downward price trend, Lundberg said. Another factor is an increased number of refineries returning to full capacity after freak occurrences, such as lightning, produced more than 30 refining interruptions in recent months, Lundberg said.

Filling his Lincoln Continental with premium gasoline at $3.63 a gallon in Millbrae, Harold Guetersloh, of South San Francisco, shrugged off the recent dip. “I keep an eye out for the cheapest prices,” Guetersloh said.

San Franciscan Deepa Gandhi said she too has been more conscious about taking BART to her job in Oakland in recent weeks, even on days she knew she will have to do fieldwork.

“I think the price of gas is so high right now that seven cents doesn’t make that big a difference to me,” Gandhi said.

Drivers aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch, said Frank Lopez, who manages independent gas station The Market in Millbrae.

“Since gas prices went above $3 per gallon, we’ve seen a decrease in sales overall,” said Lopez, who has been in the business for eight years.

His company is downsizing and looking to get out of the gasoline business altogether, having closed four of its five outlets in Northern California in the last two years, Lopez said.

“Some months we make minus the per-gallon price we pay for gas,” Lopez said. Unlike Shell and 76 stations, independent suppliers have little leverage in the market and have to buy their fuel from big corporations the same way drivers do, Lopez said.

ecarpenter@examiner.com


How have high fuel prices affected your commute?

Share your comments below.

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

San Francisco health experts recommend that pregnant women should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as a booster shot. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Questions regarding COVID-19 booster shots for pregnant people have been pouring in… Continue reading

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

The so-called “twindemic” that public health officials in California and elsewhere warned about last year — the combined threat of influenza and COVID-19 — was largely eased by the wide use of face masks, physical distancing and reduced travel, experts say. But their concerns are back this year. (Shutterstock)
COVID and the flu: Is a ‘twindemic’ threat lurking again?

‘Because of so little disease last year, population immunity is likely lower’

49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hopes to return to the field this weekend to lead San Francisco against the Colts. (Photo courtesy of 49ers)
NFL Week 7 picks: Niners face crucial matchup against the Colts

San Francisco could join Seattle on the brink of irrelevancy in the NFC West with another loss

Most Read