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Gas prices on the rise
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As temperatures dropped, gas prices rose in California, per AAA Northern California’s monthly gas price report.

Statewide, Californians can expect to pay an average of $3.84 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, up three cents per gallon from October. That’s 70 cents per gallon higher per gallon than a year ago.

In Northern California, gasoline now averages $3.82 per gallon, just slightly below the statewide average. Nationally, drivers can expect to pay $3.41 per gallon – 43 cents per gallon less than in California, but 56 cents per gallon more than a year ago.

The increase is being driven by investor uncertainty about the Euro zone debt crisis, said AAA analysts. Volatility in efforts to address that crisis have been reflected in the markets, driving crude oil prices from $75.67 per barrel on Oct. 4 to $93.19 per barrel at month’s end.

The relatively small monthly price increase at the pumps – despite sharply rising crude prices – comes as demand has remained relatively flat, per the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But should gas prices continue to rise, the effect on holiday shoppers could be more chilling than cold temperatures.

“AAA understands that heading into the holiday season with higher gas prices is rough on consumers,” said AAA Northern California spokesperson Matt Skryja. “We encourage motorists to take the extra time to shop around for the best price.”

Drivers in Turlock can expect to pay less than the statewide average, with a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline available for as little as $3.54, per gas price tracking website In the greater Modesto area, which includes Turlock, gasoline averages $3.72 per gallon, down 4 cents from a month ago.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.