Gasoline prices continue to climb

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Throughout the Valley, motorists aren't happy with the continual climb in gas prices. 

"I'm angry and want to know why they keep going up." said Linda Fadem as she filled up at Danny's Shell on Highland and 20th Street in Phoenix.

Gas prices have ballooned by more than 50 cents per gallon during the past two months, sometimes going up as much as three cents overnight.  So where does all that money go?

"I have absolutely no idea," answered Warren Risverg as he also visited Danny's Shell.

Face it, very few of us know where the money ends up when we fill up.  Many believe station owners walk off with a big chunk of change, but Michelle Donati of AAA said only a few cents per gallon goes to those who run stations in the Valley. 

"I know one third or one fourth is due to taxes." said motorist Larry Emmott. 

Actually, of each dollar spent on gasoline, an average of 13 cents is for Federal, state and local taxes.

The bulk of each dollar spent on fuel goes for crude oil, around 72 cents, and that price is set by the 12 nations that make up OPEC.  Refineries skim another eight cents of each dollar while seven cents is earmarked for distribution and marketing.

The very small light at the end of the dark price hike for gasoline tunnel, according to AAA's Donati, is that prices will peak earlier this year than most. 

That's because refineries started switching to summer fuels earlier this year. 

Still, you can expect prices to climb at least through Memorial Day.