Gripes Expected Over Gas Price Increases

Gas station owners and attendants expect to hear the usual complaints Friday, when federal taxes and clean air rules push gasoline prices in the San Fernando Valley and elsewhere up about 5 cents.

They’re gearing up understanding expressions and explanations to confront motorists’ litanies.

“Most of the people are going to scream,” said Jeff Amin, owner of the Agoura Mobil Mini-Mart, who has heard the gripes before.

“Usually we hear a lot of people grumbling for two, three days. Then they simmer down.”


“We’re going to blame Clinton,” said Phil Palma, who owns Phil’s Texaco Service in Winnetka. “People are expecting it. They will still complain but what can you do?”

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg, publisher of the Lundberg Survey, said prices should rise this week because of a double-whammy: a federal tax hike and the second annual implementation of the oxygenated fuel program mandated in certain cities.

Effective Friday, the federal tax on gasoline will increase 4.3 cents per gallon.

San Fernando Valley residents can expect a 5-cent increase because the cleaner, higher octane fuel they’ll be pumping into their cars--thanks to California regulations--costs more.

Darrin Craig, who manages Jim’s Chevron Service in Granada Hills, said people will complain, of course, about the money.