Auto Club: Gas Prices Reach New Heights

(LOS ANGELES, May 5, 2006) — Gasoline prices hit new record heights this week and more increases are expected in the coming week due to a two-day spike in the local wholesale gas market earlier this week, 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 $3.337, which is 14 cents higher than last week, 51 cents higher than last month and 75 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the price is $3.364 — 15.1 cents above last week's price, 55 cents above last month and 78 cents above last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $3.418, up 14.6 cents from last week, 50 cents above than last month and 71 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average price is $3.372, up 14.7 cents from last week, 53 cents above last month and 77 cents higher than last year.

"Motorists should brace for more increases at retail pumps due to a run-up in wholesale gas prices on Monday and Tuesday. In those two days wholesale prices jumped 37 cents," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "However, wholesale prices have started coming down. Also, in the past week, demand for gas has leveled out while domestic production is up more than two million barrels. Over the next couple of weeks, more gasoline is expected to enter the nation's supply and all of these factors should eventually put downward pressure on prices."

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline as of 12:01 a.m., May 5:

Area Regular Change Record Price
Los Angeles–Long Beach $3.337 + 14.0 cents $3.337 (5/4/2006)
Orange County $3.314 + 13.7 cents $3.314 (5/4/2006)
San Diego $3.364 + 15.1 cents $3.364 (5/4/2006)
Santa Barbara–Santa Maria–Lompoc $3.418 + 14.6 cents $3.418 (5/4/2006)
Riverside–San Bernardino $3.372 + 14.7 cents $3.372 (5/4/2006)
Bakersfield $3.364 + 15.4 cents $3.364 (5/4/2006)
Las Vegas, NV $3.065 + 12.3 cents $3.065 (5/4/2006)