EVERETT — It’s that time of year. Gas prices are staring to rise.
The Everett area has seen an increase of almost 14 cents per gallon within the past month, with the average price for a gallon of regular now at $3.41. In Snohomish County, the standard gallon costs $3.36.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he is reimposing sanctions with Iran, which could increase fuel costs. Crude oil prices could go up immediately, and affect prices at the pump later, according to a statement from AAA National.
“With the Iran sanctions reinstated, Americans could see increased gas prices this summer, leading to the national average ranging between $2.80 (and) $3.00,” the statement read.
The median price of gas in the U.S. as of Tuesday was $2.81.
Gas usually gets more expensive heading into summer, but prices are higher now than in previous years, AAA spokeswoman Janet Ray said.
“In the past four or five years, gas prices have been less volatile than I’ve seen in recent decades,” she said.
Gas prices in Washington have gone up about 45 cents a gallon since the same week last year.
One reason fuel becomes more expensive in the summer is because refineries start making a more environmentally friendly formula, which costs more to produce, Ray said. People also start driving more than usual, which hikes up the price.
Even so, bus ridership is down during the summer, since folks start going on vacation, Community Transit spokesman Martin Munguia said.
Gas price increases less than 50 cents a gallon usually don’t bring on new riders, he said.
“When gas prices really spiked and were more than $4 per gallon, we had a huge spike in bus ridership, which we saw as related to gas prices,” Munguia said.
The highest-ever recorded gas price in the Everett area was almost $4.39 per gallon June 22, 2008.
On Tuesday, regular gas was $3.39 a gallon at the Forest Park Chevron at Rucker Avenue and 41st Street.
Station assistant manager Modesta Sternberg said she hadn’t heard any customers grumbling about gas prices.
“They are used to it going up in the summer,” she said. “When it gets $4 for regular, they are going to start complaining.”
Jack Walker, of Mount Vernon, handed her $30 for gas, unconcerned how many gallons it would buy for his Buick.
“I don’t notice until it gets over $4” a gallon, he said.
Gregory Barre, of Marysville, bought five gallons for his 30-gallon cargo van.
“I am going to buy less gas today,” he said. “I don’t know, man, what are you going to do? There’s only so much oil in the ground. I’d buy an electric van but then I’d need some electric money.”
At the 76 station on Broadway, Jean Greagor filled up his thirsty Grand Cherokee with regular gas going for $3.19 a gallon. He was aware of the increase in price, but said it was less there than at other stations.
“I keep an eye on it,” the Shoreline man said. “I figured I’d buy it now before it goes up more.”
The tank tab came to $53 and change.
“It’s a few bucks more,” he said. “Normally it’s right around $50.”
Predicting how expensive gas could get isn’t easy.
“There are just so many moving pieces to try and predict the future,” Ray said. “The crystal ball is really foggy.”
The West Coast typically has the highest gas in the continental U.S. Washingtonians are paying almost $3.33, which is about 31 cents a gallon less than in California.
Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @stephrdavey.