Las Vegas Sun

November 22, 2014

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Gas prices expected to drop after February spike

Trips to the gasoline pump are about to become less painful for motorists in the Las Vegas Valley as prices begin to dip in March after a spike in February.

From Feb. 12 to March 12, gas prices increased by more than 37 cents in the valley to more than $3.81 per gallon, compared with just a 10-cent increase nationwide, the AAA Nevada monthly gas survey released Tuesday indicated.

The spike in pump prices stemmed from a combination of oil refinery maintenance and a switch to a summer blend of gasoline, which requires added chemicals to burn properly in warm weather, AAA Nevada spokesman Matt Skryja said. The adjustments caused a perceived strain in supply, driving the prices upward in Nevada.

Now that the maintenance is complete and the gas-switch has been made, Skryja said gas prices are beginning to slowly trend downward. Currently a gallon of gas costs $3.82 in Las Vegas, $3.81 in North Las Vegas and $3.84 in Henderson.

To get the best gas mileage, AAA urges drivers to perform routine maintenance on their vehicles, make sure fluids are clean and belts and hoses are working properly.

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  1. Lower prices, sure. That is until some refinery has unexpected maintenance, or somebody over in the Middle East sneezes and the speculators use it as another excuse to drive up the price of crude.

    I also love this gem:
    "...summer blend of gasoline, which requires added chemicals to burn properly in warm weather, AAA Nevada spokesman Matt Skryja said."

    Um, no. Winter fuels typically have different additives to assist with burning, due to the colder temperatures that can hinder combustion in the engine (especially in cold engines during start up), as well as catalyzation in the convertor meant to reduce Hydrocarbons and Carbon-Monoxide emissions. Summer-blends of fuels assist with reducing emissions by raising the boiling point of gasoline so that fuel tanks do not experience excessive positive pressure from vaporized fumes that leads to vapor escaping through gas caps and the vapor recovery lines. That is not only bad for the environment, but also decreases fuel economy substantially since you're just evaporating raw gasoline out of the tank.

    If you're going to quote chemistry and mechanics, at least get the facts straight.

    Bonus: Nitrogen is an inert gas that doesn't burn, but is separated from breathable air inside your engine when the oxygen is burned off with the gasoline. Inside of your exhaust system nitrogen forms with unburnt and additional oxygen that gets pumped in to assist with lowering emissions in the Catalytic Convertor. When the two gasses meet at the higher temperatures, they form higher quantities of Nitrous Oxide which contribute to acid rain. Shell gasoline proudly touts "Nitrogen-Enriched" fuel that contains higher levels of the gas in the mixture...

  2. "The sound of silence." That's what we got from the left as gas prices accelerated. Not a peep out of those leftists who frothed at the mouth at every penny rise in the cost of a gallon when George W was at the helm. Why not now when gas prices shoot up a nickel or more at a time? Couldn't be because it's not what gas costs but who's in charge at the time, could it? Nah, the left is out for the "little" guy except when doing so interfers with their commie-lite agenda.