Skyrocketing Gas in Oregon? It's Worse in California.

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, March 7 2012 at 6:46 PM, Updated: Wed, March 7 2012 at 11:49 PM

For Oregonians, prices at the pump are painful.

"It's probably going to kill us all," said Medford resident Chris Moye, who said he wouldn't be surprised if gas hit $5 per gallon by summer.

Gas Prices More Painful at California Pumps

But if you think gas prices in Oregon are bad, think again, because it could be worse...you could be living in California.

In the Yreka and Northern California area, gas is costing an average of $4.39/gallon.

That's why Phyllis Jerden and her husband drove up from the Golden State.

"It doesn't cost that much to come and go from Yreka to up here, we like to come up here to get our gas," said Jerden.

Other residents have also been making the trip north, a habit.

"We go up there quite often," said Hornbrook, CA resident Shannon Dole. "It's usually $100 to fill up so if we go up there we can save about $15 at least," she said.

In Hornbrook,  seven miles from the Oregon border, the gas is $4.39. However, just across the state line at an Arco in Ashland, it's $3.95/gallon. It's a savings of more than 40-cents.

Is Cheaper Gas Worth the Drive Across the State Line?

But the question? Is it really worth it? We crunched some hypothetical numbers to find out.

Say you're from Hornbrook, CA and your tank holds 12 gallons of gas. Filling up in Ashland versus Hornbrook would save you $5.28.

But if your car gets, say 25 miles to the gallon which is pretty middle of the road, you'd spend about $7.90 roundtrip between Hornbrook to Ashland. If you subtract the money you would save from the cost of driving to get less expensive gas, you're actually losing $2.62.

Many Californians who drive up to Oregon said they have already done the calculations on their cars.

"We know how to shop, we know where it's cheaper," said Jerden.

Of course, the miles-per-gallon vary for each car. So, if your vehicle is more fuel efficient, it is possible to save money. It's what California residents hope to do every time they head north to the Beaver State.

The owner of the gas station in Hornbrook said despite the high prices, he's not making much profit after he has to pay California's taxes and fees.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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