SAN JOSE – Gas prices have nearly jumped a dollar in California over the past month. According to AAA, prices have increased for five straight weeks -- the longest streak of increases in two years.
At Bloomster's flower shop in San Jose, Owner Kren Rasmussen doesn't want to think about his gas budget while preparing a bouquet of hydrangeas and tulips. This winter he didn’t have to. Low gas prices led to him pruning costs and increasing profits.
"I was the first one to say ‘yay’ when it went down some, because we're [paying] between $3,000 to $5,000 a month. That's a lot of money,” Rasmussen said.
Even with his trucks running deliveries all day long, he saved about $2,000 a month.
Prices have jumped across the Bay Area by more than 85 cents over the past month. The average price is now $3.38 per gallon. Drivers we spoke with are unhappy and confused.
"I don't get it, oil prices are still down and gas prices are going up so I don't know,” driver Mark George said.
"These guys are making a lot of money, I’m in the wrong business,” Bob Britt said of the oil industry.
Oil analysts expect the price to rise through spring, as suppliers plan to switch to a more expensive summer blend of gas. Others say the increase is due to the explosion at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Southern California and labor strikes at other refineries.
"I can't imagine how people do it in their SUVs and all their big cars. The little Prius gets good gas mileage...I’m lucky,” driver Cathy Savage said.
Prices are still lower than the fall, and even last year at this time.
According to AAA, California also has the highest price average of any state at $3.39 a gallon, which is almost a dollar above the national average.