TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - If you've gone to the gas station recently you've likely noticed that prices have gone up.
According to AAA gas prices are at their highest average of the year at $2.66, which is only one cent lower than the average for 2017.
Arizona ranks fifth in terms of the states who have a seen a yearly increase in the price of gas when comparing the price at this time this year to this time last year. Other states in the top five include California, Hawaii, Idaho, and Utah.
As of April 9, 2018, Arizona has seen a 40-cent increase in prices at the pump, according to recent numbers from AAA. According to Union Pacific, the higher price of crude oil and the high demand for gas are to blame for the spike in prices at the pump. Another factor noted by AAA, refineries are transferring over to a summer blend of gasoline which also makes it more expensive.
The increase in cost is affecting people in Tucson, especially one contractor who says going to the pump multiple times a week is an unavoidable part of his business since he works at projects all across town.
"We bid our jobs months in advance," Rex Bell said. "You don't really plan for an increase in gas prices as part of the equation."
For Bell, the increase in cost comes as an unwelcome surprise. The good news for people like Bell is that Arizona does not rank among the top 10 states for most expensive average price of gas, per AAA's numbers. The not so good news: prices will likely continue to go up, according to AAA.
"It affects us a lot. A tank of gas is going to cost 80 bucks now cause I'm on empty," Bell said. "And that's couple times a week with all the machinery we run and everything else. It's hitting us."