Local gasoline prices close in on $4 gallon

By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer

What goes up must come down. While it’s not exactly one of Newton’s laws of motion, the popular axiom fits most of the time: baseballs, airplanes, the stock market — the exception to the rule seems to be gas prices.

In two days (from Tuesday to Thursday) the price of regular unleaded gasoline in Portales jumped 19 cents, from $3.75 on Tuesday to a record $3.94 on Thursday.

Floyd resident Janet Fair has an interesting solution to her pain at the pump.

“I guess it’s time to ride a horse,” Fair said. “But it’s a long walk from home.”

Fair is one of the fortunate few who gets decent gas mileage out of her car, at just over 27 miles per gallon.

“I talked to my ex-husband in Raton, and he’s paying $4.09 per gallon,” Fair said.

While Fair is happy with her gas mileage, Khamphai Xaysaleumsack, from Clovis, isn’t. Xaysaleumsack estimates that he gets about 11 mpg on his diesel F-250 truck.

“I knew what I was getting into when I bought it,” Xaysaleumsack said. “I’ve been thinking about getting a motorcycle, but I don’t think the gas prices will go down anytime soon. I think they’ll stay high.

Rusty Radloff, a sales representative at Big Valley Auto in Portales says the recent gas price hike has also drastically changed how people buy cars.

“We get 5 to 10 calls a day (where people ask), ‘What do you have that gets 35 miles to the gallon.’”

“The market’s not there for the trucks anymore. It’s hard to sell the trucks,” Radloff said. “But we still get the farmers that come in and need them, because they haul trailers. But the people who just cruise in a diesel — not anymore.”

Portales resident Isabel Gonzales appeared to be in shock, while filling up her car Thursday afternoon.

“I’m afraid that sooner or later I’m going to end up pretty much riding a bike than driving my car,” Gonzales said. “I don’t want to end up paying four bucks to buy one gallon of gas. That’s where it’s headed.”