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California hits new record for high gas prices

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 8th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There was a great hue and cry at the corner gas station throughout the Golden State as gas prices hit a new record this past weekend -- an all-time average high of $4.6140 per gallon. The news gets even direr as prices are only expected to climb in the next couple days, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gas prices have gone up a whopping 47 cents in the past week in the state. Blame is being placed upon a refinery shortage and a recent power outage at a plant in Torrance.

Things have gotten so bad in California, prices have leapfrogged over Hawaii's. The national average for a gallon of remains$3.81 per gallon.

"This is ridiculous," Edgar Marutyan, one exasperated taxi driver exclaims. "I don't know how long we can go like this."

"Five dollar gas prices -- now six -- are very unreasonable," another commuter said.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County recorded its largest single-day increase last Friday. Gas skyrocketed up 19.2 cents to $4.539, its highest amount since July 12, 2008.

That's a startling 40.3 cents more than a week ago, 36.4 cents higher than a month ago and 71.5 cents greater than at this time last year, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

The record price in LA County is $4.626, set on June 21, 2008, a record set by a fraction of a penny, according to AAA spokesman Michael Green. The previous high was $4.6096 on June 19, 2008.

In Orange County, the average price also recorded its largest single-day increase Friday, rising 19.5 cents to $4.525, its highest amount since July 9, 2008. That's 41.4 cents more than one week ago, 37 cents higher than one month ago and 73.8 cents greater than one year ago.

The record price in Orange County is $4.598, set on June 19, 2008.

Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California said that local refineries were dropping production levels, exporting supply to Mexico and other countries, and allowing inventory to dwindle in anticipation of switching over to production of winter blend gasoline.

Coupled with a refinery power outage and a pipeline incident last week, gasoline wholesale markets into a free fall about the adequacy of California fuel supplies.

It's not clear how much higher prices will go, he said.

"A lot depends on whether the perceived supply issues are quickly addressed," Spring said.

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