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Gas prices are higher than they've been for years -- and are only going to get worse

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You've probably noticed that it's costing more to fill up your tank these days and it's only going to get worse.

For the first time since 2015, gas prices hit $3 per gallon here in Southern Nevada.

On Tuesday, the average gas price for the valley area reached $3 for the first time since 2015.

RELATED | AAA: Nevada gas price average hits $3 for first time since 2015

It's already hitting Las Vegas residents where it hurts-- their wallets.

"[It] hurts the pockets, Hurts everything, hurts the family hurts the pockets it all trickles down," said local resident Doug Rice.

Patrick Dehaan, a fuel analyst for Gas Buddy, says there are several reasons gas prices are on the rise. One reason: the southern California refineries that provide gas to our area are undergoing maintenance and producing less oil.

But a large part of it has to do with the seasons changing.

"Unfortunately it's a cycle that does tend to repeat itself every year," said resident Renee Mitchell.

Something many people don't know is the Clean Air Act of 1963 requires refineries to use a different caliber of gas in the summer that's more expensive.

"The EPA does require different grades of gas in the summer months so that air pollution is limited,” said DeHaan.

And while most of us would like to see the prices drop back down, Dehaan says this is only the beginning and we can expect the exact opposite.

"The old saying, ‘clocks spring forward in the spring,’ really does hold true at the gas pump as well,” said DeHaan. “In the spring months Gas prices spring forward and in the fall as long as there are no major hurricanes, gas prices tend to fall back down."

In the meantime, Las Vegas drivers are brainstorming and looking for ways they can save a buck.

"I more and more wanna get rid of this and get a Tesla,” said Rice. I'm thinking about going electric."

The average gas price this time last year was only $2.63. Dehaan says we can expect to see some relief at the pump starting in June when prices will start to come down a bit.

Nevada has the sixth-highest gas prices in the nation, after Oregon, Alaska, and Washington. The highest average prices are in Hawaii and California, at $3.51 per gallon.

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