Gas prices continue to fall in Santa Barbara and throughout the nation.
On Thursday, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas was $3.883 in Santa Barbara, compared with the $3.569 national average and California’s $3.780 statewide average, according to GasBuddy.com. The Santa Barbara average was $4.149 last month, and the national average was $3.779.
The price in Santa Barbara has dropped 4 cents in the past week, but it didn’t make much of a difference to local contractor Sam Philips.
“I haven’t noticed a decrease in prices,” he said. “I used to work in Santa Ynez and it would cost me $800 a month, but now I have a job three blocks away from my house. The price is still high.”
California already has the highest gas prices so a difference of 20 cents is negligible, independent oil operator Everrett Lawley said.
“California has the most ridiculous gas prices so the difference between $4 and $4.20 is nothing,” he said. “When (Barack) Obama took the presidency, gas was $1.80, now look at it. We’ve gotta do something to encourage domestic self-sufficiency.”
Even when Obama released 30 million barrels from the strategic reserve it had little effect, Lawley said.
“All the regulations and policies that inhibit us from keeping the price of oil down are crazy,” he said. “We haven’t had an effective energy policy for years, and now it’s worse than ever. There’s no reason we can’t capture our own natural resources, do it safely and in an eco-friendly way.”
Santa Barbara wedding planner Kaitlin Lopez said she hasn’t noticed fluctuating prices — high or low.
“Sometimes it costs me 50 bucks to fill up a tank and sometimes it’s 80. I don’t pay attention to the prices,” she said. “Everything here in Santa Barbara is expensive; it’s just one of those things we have to expect.”
While the price of gasoline has dipped, a barrel of crude oil rose to $95.20 from $93.64 last week.
South Coast residents can find the least expensive gas at the 76 station at 4401 Via Real, at $3.69 a gallon. The next least expensive stations are the Thrifty at 4069 State St. at $3.73, the Thrifty at 231 N. Milpas St. at $3.75, the ARCO at 1395 State St. at $3.75, and Conserv Fuel at 150 S. La Cumbre Road at $3.75. USA Gasoline at 8 S. Milpas St. and Conserv Fuel have the lowest price on diesel fuel, at $4.15 a gallon.
The most expensive station is the Mobil at 49 Glen Annie Road, with gas priced at $4.29 a gallon for unleaded.