Gas Price Averages Zoom Above $4; Up 22 Percent Since Jan. 1

(LOS ANGELES – March 31, 2011) – Local gas prices jumped over the past week to levels not seen since mid-August 2008, with every major Southern California area posting averages above $4 a gallon, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.055 per gallon, which is 6.8 cents more than last week, 29 cents higher than last month, and 96 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $4.041, 5.9 cents more than last week, 27 cents above last month, and 93 cents higher than last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.10, up 5.4 cents from last week, 35 cents higher than a month ago, and 94 cents above last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per gallon price is $4.03, which is seven cents higher than last week, 28 cents higher than last month, and 93 cents more than last year.
“State gas prices have spiked by 22 percent in the first three months of this year, and are 30 percent higher than a year ago at this time, primarily because world events have prompted heavy investments in gasoline and oil futures, crude oil, and wholesale gasoline,” said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring. “For a 14-gallon tank of regular unleaded, Southern California drivers are now paying $56 on average. On Jan. 1, a 14-gallon fill-up cost $46 on average, and a year ago at this time Southland drivers paid an average of $43 for 14 gallons.”
The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 3 p.m. on March 31, averages are:
Record Price
Los Angeles – Long Beach
     +6.8 cents
 $4.626 (6/21/08)
Orange County
     +6.7 cents
 $4.598 (6/19/08)
San Diego
     +5.9 cents
 $4.630 (6/19/08)
Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Lompoc
     +5.4 cents
 $4.709 (6/21/08)
Riverside – San  Bernardino
     +7.0 cents
 $4.614 (6/22/08)
      +5.1 cents
 $4.591 (6/24/08)
      +6.5 cents
 $4.625 (6/18/08)