Auto Club: Rocket-Like Increases in Gas Prices May Be Near Top

Weekly Fuel Prices Report

(LOS ANGELES, August 22, 2003)  Gasoline prices in Southern California and the Southwest have rocketed up for the last two weeks, increasing more than 32 cents in that time, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. But there are signs that prices may be near the top.

Currently, the average price of self-serve regular unleaded gasoline in the Los Angeles–Long Beach area is $1.999 per gallon, up 25.6cents from last week. That's 28 cents higher than last month and 40 cents higher than this time last year. In San Diego, the price is $2.031, which is 24.9 cents above last week's level, 29 cents higher than last month and 39 cents above last year. Motorists in the central coast pay an average price of $2.082, which is 25.4 cents higher than last week's price, 24 cents lower than last month and 39 cents higher than last year.

"The ruptured pipeline between Tucson and Phoenix has been repaired and it?s expected that by Sunday gasoline should be flowing as before. That will take pressure off California refineries to supply Arizona with gasoline by truck," said Carol Thorp, Auto Club spokesperson. "We still have some refinery problems in Northern California and Washington state. But demand will slacken after the Labor Day holiday and that should cause prices to begin falling."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline at popular destinations for motoring trips.

Average prices as of 12:01 a.m., Aug. 22:

Area Regular Change from
last week
Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach$1.999+25.6 cents$2.167 (3/22/03)
San Diego$2.031+24.9 cents$2.211 (3/20/03)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc$2.082+25.4 cents$2.207 (3/22/03)
Las Vegas, NV$1.819+13.7 cents$2.063 (3/25/03)
Phoenix–Mesa, AZ$1.981+29.7 cents$2.003 (3/22/03)