By Steven Sandberg
MEDFORD, Ore. — Drivers in Southern Oregon are hit hard at the pump on their way to work, with gas prices jumping nearly 20 cents over the weekend.
Experts say the jump in prices are a result of supply and demand; more specifically, the shortest supply of gasoline Oregon has had in the month of may in 20 years that’s led to prices being between $4.00 and nearly $4.50 a gallon on Monday.
AAA says gas prices in southern Oregon have risen by 18 cents in four days. The entire state has seen a 16-cent average increase. They say it’s because several refineries along the west coast have all closed for maintenance as they switch to a summer blend of gas. The result is that gas prices in Oregon, California, and Washington are the highest in the country.
“Three of the refineries in California, out of the 12, have shut down for maintenance, and then the largest refinery in Washington, Cherry Point, was down for three months in February and they’ve had a slow start getting back into production as well,” explains AAA Becky Lonctot.
As for how long it will last, AAA says it all depends on the refineries. If any have a lower time going back into production or finds problems during its maintenance, then it could make a bigger delay and keep prices high for longer.