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'It's breaking our backs': San Diegans struggling as gas prices continue to break records

Gas Prices
Posted at 4:52 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 15:03:16-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Gas prices continue to soar across San Diego. The cost of a gallon is up 12 cents since Tuesday.

The average price of gas is up about 70 cents from a week ago, a dollar from a month ago, and closing in on two dollars from a year ago.

The increase is impacting everyone, especially those struggling to get by.

Unfortunately for many people, the continuous increases in gas is more than just an inconvenience. It has made people ask a very tough question : What is going to have to give in order to pay from something I need and use everyday?

"It's really horrible, because as usual California gas prices are expensive, and right now it's getting crazy," explains Fadumo Aden. "I filled my car Monday, 60 dollars and now I am filling it up again, and it goes fast."

For the mother of six, going to the pump has been difficult.

"It's really hard, she said.

ABC 10 News reporter Sophia Hernandez asked her, "Tell"

Aden, couldn't answer the question before getting emotional.

"It's really hard," she shares with tears in her eyes. "Picking up from different schools, running out of gas so quick. It's crazy."

And she is not the only one that is hurting.

"It keeps going cents by cents," shares Priscilla. "And it starts to add up."

The merchandiser works eight hours a day, everyday in her car.

"We get paid for our mileage, but as it's going up I am not sure we are going to get more," she explains.

Priscilla shares that she is worried she won't be able to afford what the pump is asking for, "It's kinda scary."

The People's Association of Justice Advocates, San Diego Food Bank and other leaders announced on Wednesday that they have raised more than 15,000 dollars. They will be passing out $55 for gas to drivers, along with free food on Monday, March 14 from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m.

They are expecting more than 300 cars and drivers must sign up if they would like assistance.

"It is in this moment that we need to meet the moment," said Shane Harris, the organizer behind the event. "We need action."

While this event is a drop in the bucket, drivers say they need more.

"Now 40 dollars is my budget," explains Dianne Polk. "And that's a lot of money for me. I work very hard for my money," she furthers, "Somebodies going to get a cut."

Polk said she will have to re-evaluate spending just so that she can pay for gasoline.

"It's just about breaking the backs of the people, and it is breaking our backs," said Polk.

Polk believes that the continued high prices has much to do with politics. She hopes that more action is taken by our politicians at all levels to keep costs at bay.

Despite the rising gas prices, Governor Gavin Newsom is rejecting calls to increase domestic oil production.

Those in agreement with the Governor said that the high gas prices are a wake up call needed to get as far away from fossil fuels, and turn towards 100% clean energy. Those against, say by not using our own supply, we will only continue to hurt Californians and our economy.

Representative Vince Fong shares that Governor Newsom's refusal to drill in California emphasizes how our states energy is becoming more and more dependent on foreign supply.

"Why would we want oil from other countries who don't abide by our environmental standards, that don't abide by our human rights standards," questions Fong.

Fong furthers that Californians consume over 1 million barrels of oil a day, yet we only produce 350,000 barrels of oil a day. He says that about 75% of our supply comes from overseas and foreign nations, about 18 million barrels just from Russia.

"Our state needs energy," he explains. "And California can produce it domestically, and the Governor can approve those permits and allow that to happen."

Yet Governor Newsom is standing firm, providing a different solution he announced Tuesday in his State of the State address. He proposed a potential tax rebate.

There are very few details as to how the plan will work. Dee Dee Myers, Governor Newsom's Senior Advisor, told reporters Tuesday that it would be a tax rebate totaling in the billions of dollars, and it would only go to California residents with cars. She also said it could happen before May.

Those in support of Newsom's decision say that they hope this means a quicker turn towards 100% clean energy.

"Pumping more oil in the United States and in California isn't a quick fix," said Matthew Vasilakis, the Co-Director of Policy Climate Action Campaign. "We are pumping more oil than ever and there is also long term damage to our climate and our communities from air pollution. So it's imperative for us to double down and continue to decelerate our clean energy future."

He believes that drilling won't help the price at the pump go down.

"I am hoping that this is a real lessons learned for our communities that fossil fuels are volatile and prices can fluctuate rapidly up and down," Vasilakis shares. "And if we want to have an energy dependent future that is in our national security's best interest, that is going to be with 100% clean energy."

Yet there are others like Fong who believe that is not the answer to help the problems California drivers are facing right now.

"We can increase production here in California and we can make up that difference," Fong shares. "But it's going to take political will."