Stillwater News Press

May 18, 2013

Gas prices leap to $3.99 a gallon in Stillwater

It's difficult to determine why Oklahoma prices much higher than Texas, Arkansas

By Chris Day
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater resident Josh Dillender pondered a trip to Wichita, Kan., Friday as he filled his pickup with $3.99 a gallon unleaded at a convenience store on West Sixth Avenue.

“Now, you have to think through how far am I going? Can I afford to do trips outside of Stillwater. I’m actually heading to Wichita right now. ... It matters when you are going 200 miles round trip,” he said. “Four bucks is a lot for regular.”

Tuesday, AAA Oklahoma reported the average price for a gallon of unleaded fuel at Stillwater self-service pumps was $3.63 a gallon, a 23 cents a gallon increase from its May 7 gas price report.

AAA Oklahoma tracks gas prices in 15 cities. Stillwater’s $3.63 average Tuesday was the highest in the state.

Friday, a random NewsPress survey revealed self-service, unleaded gas prices ranged from $3.79 to $4.09 a gallon. The most common price was $3.99.

“In my truck, I could buy 26 gallons. It’s going to be close to $90 to fill up my truck,” Dillender said.

AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai has tracked gas prices for 26 years. Friday, he called the surge in gas prices across Oklahoma illogical.

Friday’s AAA Fuel Gauge Report revealed nearly 40 states with lower self-service, regular average prices than Oklahoma.

Average gas prices in in five of Oklahoma’s six border states — Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Colorado and New Mexico — were lower than Oklahoma’s prices. Gas prices were higher in Kansas at $3.82 cents per gallon.

 In Tuesday’s AAA Oklahoma report, gas prices were lower in Idabel, Lawton, Altus and Seminole than in Oklahoma City and Tulsa — metropolitan areas with highly competitive markets, Mai said.

“It defies logic,” he said. “Prices are behaving like a little kid on a sugar high.”

Get More MPG

Here are a few ways to get better gas mileage

• Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts

• Anticipates stops. When approaching a red light take your foot off the gas as early as possible

• Drive during cooler parts of the day in summer. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage

• Avoid long warmups in the morning

• Use air conditioning. Today’s air conditioners create less drag on the engine than driving with windows open

• Keep tires at the recommended pressure

• Keep the air filter clean

• Drive the speed limit