Conflict in Ukraine could increase U.S. gas prices

CHICO, Calif. - Chico drivers were already seeing gas prices heading up even before Russian troops began seizing Ukraine. The fear is that Russia could cut off its oil supply.

While the United States isn't dependent on Russia for oil, Europe is.  If Russia cuts off its supply there will be a ripple effect that will raise prices in the U.S. and at gas stations like those in the Northstate.  That could affect other prices like airline tickets.  

On Monday, regular unleaded gasoline averaged $3.72 a gallon in Chico, an increase of 8 cents in the last week.  In Redding the average is $3.73 a gallon, up 6 cents in the last week. 

Drivers fear prices could be headed back toward $4 a gallon.

The AM/PM Arco station on East 20th Street pumps 6,000 gallons of gasoline per day.  And that's about all it can predict. There's no way of knowing when and by how much gas prices will adjust from day-to-day.

"We get information from the supplier," said gas station manager Moe Malik. "They send us a fax or email to tell us if it's going up or down depending on the situation."

Commuters like Butte College student Jessica Rodriguez say any small increase in gas prices has a big impact on her pocketbook.

"Quite a bit actually, since I commute from downtown Chico to Butte," said Rodriguez.  "It's quite a bit of a drive."

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