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Gas prices to climb after refinery fire

  • Fuel truck Driver Terry Lappolis of Henner Tank Lines of Winters, decouples gas lines at a Union 76 Station on Mendocino Ave. Santa Rosa, Tuesday August 7, 2012. Consumers are expected to pay more for a gallon of gas in the coming days due in part to the Richmond Chevron fire Monday evening. Lappolis will make about nine stops a day to stations, which includes Chevron. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2012

Resignation mixed with resentment Tuesday at gasoline pumps across Sonoma County over forecasts that a Bay Area refinery fire could drive fuel back over $4 a gallon.

"Seems like it's one thing or another," said Sam Wright of Santa Rosa, after pumping more than $50 worth of gas into his Ford Explorer. "Can't say I'm surprised."

"What can you do?" shrugged Christina Heraty of Santa Rosa, who put $17 worth into her Toyota Corolla, also at the Arco Station at Brookwood Avenue and Fourth Street.

Chevron Refinery Fire In Richmond

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Regular gas there was $3.70 a gallon, well below the Santa Rosa average of $3.84 posted Tuesday at the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, which uses an average of the three preceding days.

The prospect of returning to the $4 range irked Ben Stanley of Santa Rosa, even though he drives a Toyota Prius hybrid that gets better than 40 mpg.

"It sucks. That's it," Stanley said. "I'm so sick of it."

Stanley, who said he believes gas prices are manipulated, also decried the global consumption of fossil fuels.

"We're just spewing carbon into the atmosphere day and night," he said.

Analysts were quoted Tuesday predicting $4 a gallon on the West Coast in the wake of a Monday night fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

"It'll be up over $4 by the end of the day and $4.50 by Labor Day," said Bob van der Valk, a petroleum pricing analyst in Terry, Mont.


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