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Gas prices creep upward
Noticed an increase at the pump lately?
It hasnt been a lot. Nickels and dimes as one local service-station manager put it. Prices have fluctuated up and down, but over time, the trend has been up.
Kitsap Transits finance director, Jim Lundstrom, whose buses use enormous quantities of diesel fuel, was hesitant to speculate on the steady rise.
There are so many variables, he said. I think the (political) problems in Venezuela may have a lot to do with recent jumps theres no crude (oil) coming out of there at all.
He also mentioned it was a warm winter, which would imply less fuel demand and lower prices. Overarcing everything, is the Middle East crisis and a possible war with Iraq.
The American Automobile Association tracks fuel prices, but only down to the city level. In other words, they have figures on Bremerton, but not Silverdale, which is unincorporated. Nevertheless, because of the proximity of the two communities, Bremerton trends are interesting:
l Bremerton unleaded regular averages $1.40 currently; was $1.31 a month ago; and was $1.13 last year at this time.
l In Silverdale, four major service stations were contacted, of which three gave current prices. $1.35 per gallon for unleaded regular at Chevron Market Express, 6835 State Highway 303; $1.49 at Ridgetop Market, 1195 N.W. Tahoe Lane; and $1.36 at Silver City Texaco, 9571 Silverdale Way N.W.
Historical prices were not available for Silverdale, but AAA officials said trends probably followed Bremerton. Many who answered calls to CK/Silverdale stations described themselves as managers, not owners, and were unable to supply much information.
Carol Koetz, manager of Ridgetop Market, said gas prices have been going up slowly by nickels and dimes.
Increases started back up in December at her service station, she commented. The manager or clerk at Silver City, who would only identify herself as Nan, confirmed prices have been creeping up A little.
The national average for unleaded regular is now $1.50, according to the AAA Web site. A nickel more than Washingtons average and a dime more than Bremerton.
Your area (CK) has traditionally been lower than elsewhere, said Jennifer Harbison of the local AAA in Bremerton, on Kitsap Way.
Im up from Oregon, where the gas prices are much higher, said Catherine Grant of Roseberg. So Im not complaining ... but the overall rise? I think theyre using the threat of war to do that. Its an excuse.
Another person also getting gas at the Texaco Station in Silverdale, Beth Munsch of Silverdale, said Im not pleased with the higher prices. Its probably not going to get any better.
She said the rise in prices may reflect fear and speculation concerning that may happen in Iraq.
Historically, AAA officials nationwide have said understanding why gas prices fluctuate is neither science nor art.
National trends show interesting contrasts with our own area:
Unleaded regular averages $1.504; was $1.457 a month ago; and was $1.119 a year ago at this time.
Other national prices per
l Mid-range unleaded, current price, $1.597; premium, $1.655; diesel, $1.560.
l Month ago: mid, $1.547; premium, $1.603; diesel, $1.528.
l Year ago: mid, $1.188; premium, $1.231; diesel, $1.220.