SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Gas prices are going up again on the Central Coast and the four dollar a gallon mark is possible in the near term as oil refineries switch from winter to spring-summer blends amid increasing oil prices.
The numbers at the pump are adding up faster than in a long while on the Central Coast.
"I can afford the gasoline price rises but I know a lot of people that will suffer", said Ricardo Flores while filling up at a gas station in Santa Maria.
Energy industry analysts say expect the upward trend in prices at the pump to continue as supplies lag amid the switch to spring-summer blends and increasing global demand for oil, notably from China.
"No matter how much it is I will still pay it", said local consumer Justin Price, "It's just how it is going to be, gas is going to go up, prices are going to go up, everything is going to go up."
California already has among the highest state and local gas taxes in the country which adds to the price per gallon.
Central Coast gas prices are also higher due to what has long been believed as higher transportation costs to bring the fuel to gas stations.
"It's unfortunate but it's understandable", Ricardo Flores said, "with the market the way it is, crude oil prices are going up, so the pump is going to go up as well, that's just the market forces I would imagine."
As diesel prices go up, trucking companies will pay more to deliver goods and services, a price that is passed on to consumers.
It's all out of pocket expense for the average consumer when price inflation is starting to sink its teeth into the local and national economy.
"I'm just gonna have to get another job", said Jakelyn Shippy at a Santa Maria gas station, "because I want to keep going out so I just have to get another job to keep paying and fill my truck up."
Gas prices are expected to stabilize in the coming months but prices could hit the four dollars a gallon mark on the Central Coast in the near term.