California gas prices are rising to record highs | MCU Times

California gas prices are rising to record highs

California gas prices reached a record high on Monday as the average price per gallon rose to $ 4,682, according to the American Automobile Assn.

It was the state’s second record day in a row. Monday’s average lead-free price was six-tenths of a cent higher than the Sunday average reported by the AAA, which beat the previous state record of $ 4,671, set in October 2012.

AAA Southern California spokesman Doug Shupe said prices are primarily driven by higher crude oil costs and increased demand for fuel. A barrel of West Texas medium crude oil on New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $ 80.79 Friday – more than double its 52-week low.

“We had really, really low demand during the pandemic, and then it just increased rapidly as more and more people were vaccinated,” Shupe said. “The desire to get out there and travel picked up really quickly.”

Prices also rose in several counties, including Los Angeles, which rose to $ 4,672 on Monday – approaching the record of $ 4,705 set nine years ago.

That figure is about 7.9 cents more than it was a week ago, 20.8 cents more than a month ago and $ 1.52 more than a year ago.

Average prices in Orange County rose to $ 4,635 – approaching a previous record of $ 4.69, also set in October 2012. San Francisco broke its own record, with a gallon of ordinary gas averaging $ 4,867.

California figures surpassed the nation’s figures, which hovered at an average of $ 3,415 per gallon on Monday. The nationwide all-time high of $ 4,114 was set in July 2008.

In fact, national numbers have dropped nine times since Oct. 30, AAA said, after rising steadily each of the previous 31 days. But analysts noted that “the ongoing tight supply of crude oil is likely to keep gas prices fluctuating, rather than falling, for some time.”

AAA spokesman Jeffrey Spring said the recent heavy rains were also to blame for California’s rising prices after the state’s oil refineries were “flooded with water”, affecting production. The atmospheric river in October broke several records when it dumped a deluge over the state.

“That’s what really pushed prices up in Northern California, which then pushed the average price for California,” Spring said, noting that it was no different from the disruption experienced by some Louisiana refineries after Hurricane Ida.

The painful pumping prices in California arrive just before the Thanksgiving holiday, which typically sees millions of people on their way. The car club estimates that about 3.8 Californians will drive to their holiday destinations this year – an increase of 9% compared to 2020 and within a striking distance from pre-pandemic levels.

“These prices are certainly frustrating at a time when we know many people will be traveling in the coming weeks and months,” Shupe said, adding that after a year and a half of travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “people are looking forward to to get out there and have the traditional Thanksgiving again with their friends and family. “

At nearly $ 60 to fill a 12-gallon tank, some might reconsider their plans, but most will likely stay the course, he said.

For those who do, the AAA recommends small steps to maximize fuel efficiency, including keeping the tires properly inflated and getting rid of extra weight.

And while crude oil prices may fall slightly, demand is likely to continue for the next few months.

“We really do not know when we will see them start to fall,” Shupe said of gas prices. “It is possible that we could see higher prices with us through the holiday season.”

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