Auto Club: Quadruple Whammy Sends Gas Prices Higher for Ninth Straight Week

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, Feb. 28, 2003) — Gasoline prices in Southern California continued rising last week for the ninth consecutive week. Four key factors contributing to the increases are: war fears, lower crude oil imports, a severe winter storm in the eastern United States and the switch from winter to summer formula gasoline in California, according to the Weekend Gas Watch compiled by the Automobile Club of Southern California. Since the beginning of 2003, gas prices have risen 24.3 percent. The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at popular destinations for motoring trips.

Currently, the average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $1.941 per gallon, which is six cents higher than last week's price, 30 cents higher than last month and 63 cents higher than last year. In San Diego the price is $1.985, which is which is 6.5 cents higher than last week's level, 28 cents higher than last month and 60 cents higher than last year. Motorists in the central coast have an average price of $1.977, which is 5.6 cents above last week?s price, 27 cents higher than last month and 57 cents higher than last year.

"In California, we switch from the winter to summer gasoline formula much earlier than the rest of the country. Summer formula gasoline is more difficult to produce. This is a major reason that our prices are increasing while prices in other regions of the country have stabilized," said Carol Thorp, Auto Club spokesperson. "If you look at the formula switch, war fears, lower crude oil supply and severe weather, it makes a perfect storm for California pump prices."

Average prices as of 12:01 a.m., February 28:

Area Regular Change from
last week
Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach$1.941+6.0 cents$2.036 (5/25/01)
San Diego$1.985+6.5 cents$2.025 (5/29/01)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc$1.977+5.6 cents$2.069 (5/16/01)
Las Vegas, NV$1.805+5.1 cents$1.885 (3/27/00)
Phoenix–Mesa, AZ$1.675+7.3 cents$1.720 (5/30/01)