Gas prices keep climbing

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Mahealani Pontius

  • Bethany Freudenthal / The Garden Island

    Joshua Hobbs

LIHUE — Despite another increase in gas prices this week, Koloa resident Ashley James said she’s OK with it because they’re not as high as they were about five years ago.

“It was bad enough to like everywhere you went you could kind of price out how much it cost to drive somewhere. I didn’t like that. It cost a lot of money to just go halfway around the island,” she said.

James, who spends about $120 per month on gas, said with the current prices she’s feeling relief at the pump.

“Compared to a couple years ago, I don’t feel bad at all,” she said.

Heading into the weekend, Kauai motorists can expect to pay more at the pump.

According to the AAA website, the gas price for Lihue this weekend is $3.97 for a gallon of unleaded, which is up 1 cent from last week, up 61 cents from one year ago, but nowhere near the record prices for Lihue at $4.98 a gallon on May 7, 2011.

In a Sept. 6 press release, the American Automobile Association said Hawaii gas prices repeated the pattern of the last few weeks, decreasing slightly in some areas, while rising slightly in others.

The statewide average price of gas this weekend is $3.78 a gallon, which is 1 cent higher than a month ago and 63 cents more than a year ago, according to gasprices.aaa.com

“In other fuel-related news, last week’s Energy Information Administration report showed West Coast gasoline supplies dropped by 1.2 million barrels, their largest one-week draw in five months,” according to an AAA press release.

The region’s supplies sit at 28.9 million barrels, which is still 2.7 million barrels higher than the same week last year.

Lihue resident Joshua Hobbs, who moved here earlier this year, said the gas prices on Kauai don’t bother him much because they are only slightly more expensive then where he came from.

“I used to live in California and Virginia so I’m used to the fluctuations of really high to really low,” he said.

Mahealani Pontius from Lihue said because gas prices on Kauai are so high, she spends more to fill up.

“I probably put in $20 to $25 a week, probably about $100 a month,” she said.

She’d just returned from a vacation on the mainland and said gas prices are definitely lower there. If prices on Kauai were lower, she said she’d rather pump money into the local community.

“Like going to the beach or going to little cafes,” she said.

Despite the high price of gas on the island, Pontius is glad to be home.

“I love Kauai,” she said.

Gas prices were higher in other parts of the state Thursday.

In Honolulu, Thursday’s average gas price for regular was $3.63, which is 1 cent higher than Aug. 6 and 70 cents higher than Aug. 6, 2017. The price for gas in Hilo is $3.87, which is 1 cent higher than last Thursday, 3 cents higher than last month and 73 cents higher than last year.

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Bethany Freudenthal, crime, courts and county reporter, can be reached at 652-7891 or bfreudenthal@thegardenisland.com.

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