Back in Business

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We've all noticed that gas prices are on the rise... Here in Reno, we're paying an average of two dollars and forty-seven cents a gallon--that's a quarter more than the national average, according to AAA. But experts say those high prices shouldn't reflect the pipeline problem.

This Quik Stop station ran out of regular unleaded gas--because of the pipeline crisis--and was forced to close for 30 minutes.

Just down the street, this Arco went completely dry--because of the limited supplies--and shut its doors for at least seven hours.

Neither station owner would speak on camera, but both admitted the pipeline problem was an inconvenience to its customers and business.

"Everybody was watching. Everybody was paying attention to their inventories. But it was really a non-event," says Steve Yarborough, a spokesman with the Nevada Petroleum Retailer Association and the owner of local gas stations.

He downplays the pipeline problem because he doesn't expect it to have any residual effect on the market. He says gas prices shouldn't spike because of it...and that owners won't be raising their rates in anticipation of further complications.

"The market is so competitive that each one of us, every morning, drives around and looks at what the competitors are doing. Even after we get an increase on our price, we look to make sure that the competition has received a similar increase."

Many Northern Nevada drivers say they are mildly worried about a summertime gas shortage, but seem resigned to paying the higher prices at the pump.

"People in Europe have been paying five dollars plus a gallon for years. It seems to have cut down on the amount of miles they drive, so maybe it'd be a good thing for us over here too," says Darby Bennett from Reno.

"I don't think they're ever going to come back down to where they were before. You'll never see a dollar fifty ever again," adds Guy Hewson, also from Reno.