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California Residents React to Viral Post Showing Gas Prices Hitting $7.29 per Gallon At Silicon Valley Gas Station

A Chevron gas station displaying a price for regular gas at $7.29 per gallon.
Source: @scottbudman/X

A viral post on the social media platform X has sparked a conversation among users about how much is too much to pay for gas in a convenient local area.

X user Scott Budman made a post on Sunday with a picture of the gas station prices at a Chevron in Menlo Park, California. The photo shows the price of regular gas at $7.29 per gallon. The ‘plus’ line for gas was $7.59 and the ‘supreme’ blend for gas was $7.79 per gallon.

Budman captioned his post with a commentary on the federal minimum wage.

“One gallon of gas (Menlo Park) above the federal hourly minimum wage,” Budman wrote.

His post would go on to go viral, garnering over half a million views as many X users and California residents left comments arguing about the price of convenience and minimum wage.

X user David Scacco outlined reasons why this gas station is his “go-to.”

“I have to admit, I love this gas station and it’s my go-to. Why? 1/ It’s the most convenient (for me and many of my neighbors) which leads to 2/ how do you set prices? Charge what the market will bear. And 3, back 1, I like to support local businesses that make my life convenient,” Scacco wrote.

The price at this station appears to be driven by convenience. Another X user Abe Froman posted a GasBuddy price comparison showing other stations in Menlo Park, including Chevron stations, with gas prices in the $5 per gallon range.

Some users took issue with Budman’s caption, saying that bringing up the federal minimum wage misses the point because the minimum wage in that area starts at $16 an hour.

“The minimum wage in Menlo Park is $16/hour,” wrote X user Tyler_The_Wise.

While many users were surprisingly defensive about the post drawing attention to high gas prices in the area, others were in disbelief at the people defending it.

“You’re HAPPY (hence defending this) to pay $6/gallon vs $3.50 (was already too high a few years ago) ? Perhaps major coastal CA cities do deserve to go further Left… into the Pacific Ocean,” X user TL3887 wrote.

In response, user Ajay Juneja bristled at the characterization that they were defending the prices, saying they were just stating the facts.

“This is not a defense, it’s just a fact. I paid $6.01 / gallon of Premium last week. I only drive about 5000 miles a year since the pandemic, so it’s not nearly the impact as say, the rise in food costs since 2019 (which I know is also impacted by energy costs). My next car is likely to be a Tesla, and so I’d likely be driving even less miles on gas then,” Juneja said.

According to Gas Buddy, prices at America’s pumps have been slowly creeping up recently. 

The latest Consumer Price Index Summary from March showed that the index for gasoline rose considerably. The increases in both shelter and gasoline combined contributed to half the monthly increase of all index items.

Analysts attribute this price increase to a seasonal “spring bump” and following normal consumer behavior trends.

As the weather gets warmer and the country prepares for spring, more people start traveling on the roadways, driving up the demand for gas and also its price.


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