Gas Price Declines Pause Due To Carbon Credits, But More Drops May Be Ahead

empty fuel gauge

The state’s carbon credit requirement for oil companies kicked in Jan. 1, and the effect was felt at the gas pump with increases – but it may not last long, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The retail state average is $2.636 a gallon for regular today, eight-tenths of one cent more than last week.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $2.663 per gallon, which is 1.7 cents more than last week, 35 cents less than last month, and $1.03 lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $2.639, which is 2 cents more than last week, 35 cents lower than last month, and $1.06 lower than last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.639, 3.6 cents more than last week, 29 cents lower than a month ago, and 97 cents less than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per-gallon price is $2.623, up 1.9 cents from last week, 44 cents less than last month, and $1.05 less than last year.

“California oil companies began factoring the state’s carbon credits into their cost of doing business on Jan. 1, and many stations raised their prices after nearly six months of dramatic price declines,” said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring. “However, pump prices have moved back downward in the last couple of days as local wholesale prices dipped to their lowest level in nearly six years. The last time Los Angeles wholesale prices were this low on Feb. 23, 2009, the retail Los Angeles average for regular unleaded was $2.25 a gallon – more than 40 cents below where it is now.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Jan. 8, averages are:






Record Price

Los Angeles – Long Beach


   +1.7 cents

$4.705 (10/9/12)





Orange County


+2.3 cents

$4.690 (10/8/12)





San Diego


   +2.0 cents

$4.725 (10/8/12)





Santa Barbara – Santa Maria – Lompoc


 +3.6 cents

$4.709 (6/21/08)





Riverside – San Bernardino


+1.9 cents

$4.688 (10/8/12)



 +3.0 cents

$4.689 (10/7/12)







-1.0 cents

$4.648 (10/9/12)