Tri-Cities gas stations surpass four, five dollars a gallon

PASCO, Wash. — With gas prices well above four dollars for regular fuel through the Tri-Cities, drivers like Anna Blakely are starting to rethink travel.

“We budgeted seven dollars a gallon just to be sure to be able to make this trip,” she said.

Anna stopped at the Exxon off of 27th and 395 in Kennewick to refuel on her way home to Tonasket.

She was in the midst of a 10-day road trip in her pickup truck and fifth wheel; she said filling the 23 gallon tank has been pricey.

“We experienced some pretty high prices; at the top of Death Valley it was $7.22 a gallon, the lowest price we saw on our trip was $3.75 and don’t think we didn’t stop and top that sucker off man,” she laughed.

To save money Fuel Economy.gov recommends driving efficiently and keeping your car in tip top shape.

You can also enroll in grocery stores’ fuel programs. In the Tri-Cities, Fred Meyer and Safeway have programs that reward you at the pump for shopping at their stores.

High gas prices aren’t only affecting everyday drivers, it’s also impacting the trucking industry.

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“The owner-operators are the ones suffering the most, they cannot go and pay $1000 to where just a week ago it used to be $700,” Alex Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez owns M Truck Services in Pasco, but was a trucker for 22 years.

He said high gas prices has been the final straw for many of his customers.

“Many of them are already closing the doors, they’re going to have to be looking for another job they just cannot afford,” he said.

What’s worse?

He said filling a tank for $1000 means some truckers can’t afford repairs.

“It’s really, super sad when we run their cards and it’s declined and they have to park the truck because they cannot even move,” he explained.

Alex said if a trucker works for a company, they’re either given a company card for fuel or are reimbursed. On the other hand, owner-operators are usually responsible for paying for fuel.

He said if the trucking industry suffers, so will Americans.

“Americans won’t be able to survive without the truckers. We don’t have a choice, we still got to move, we still got to find a way to adapt to the price.”