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Filling up the gas tank is emptying the pockets of Washington residents

SEATTLE — It’s costing a lot more to fill up your tank these days as gas prices have surged in recent weeks. Right now, Washington ranks third across the U.S. for the highest gas prices.

Data shows there has been a nearly 40-cent increase in the last month.

“Yeah, I do feel it… In my pocketbook,” said resident Arthur Carmen. “The sun comes out; the gas goes up and so do the beer prices right? So that’s to be expected.”

Washington drivers are shelling out a lot more money at gas stations.  

Nationally, the AAA ranks Washington state with the third highest price. “The average price for a gallon of gasoline in Washington has risen dramatically,” said Patrick De Haan, head of Petroleum Analysis with Gas Buddy.

According to AAA, the current average for gas in the state is about $4.27. That number is about 84 cents more than the national average. It is up nine cents in the past week, and 38 cents more than last month. 

Experts said there are three major factors. 

“Demand is going up, temperatures are warmer, Americans are getting outside more and more, there’s Spring Break travel, the fact that demand is up, we’re changing over to the summer blends and refiners are doing maintenance are basically the three big examples of why gas prices go up,” said De Haan.

De Haan said gas prices will hit a peak in April or May. He expects Seattle gas prices to inch closer to the $5 mark this summer.

“Cost of labor is higher, taxes are higher, and so all of that is a function that goes into what a retailer is going to charge for a gallon of a gasoline,” said De Haan.

He predicts gas prices could drop below four-dollars again in October or November. Either way, people still have to get around.

“I don’t drive less or more,” said Bark. “I got to do what I got to do. Got to go to work.”

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