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Auto Club: Gas Prices Continue Higher As Refinery Outages Crop Up And Inventory Dips

Oil Pump by Roy Luck
Photo by Roy Luck https://www.flickr.com/photos/royluck/   creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/  

One unplanned refinery outage in Southern California and several outages in other parts of Western states have continued the upward pressure on gas prices, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.68, which is five cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.42, which is two cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.74 per gallon, which is seven cents higher than last week, 23 cents higher than last month, and four cents lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.74, which is seven cents higher than last week, 20 cents higher than last month, and one cent higher than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.67, which is six cents higher than last week, 19 cents higher than last month, and four cents lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.62, which is nine cents higher than last week, 25 cents higher than last month and seven cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.66 average price is five cents higher than last week, 16 cents higher than last month, and four cents higher than a year ago today.

“Oil Price Information Service reports that the Wilmington portion of the Phillips 66 Los Angeles refinery reported unplanned flaring last week and several other West Coast refineries are having issues, while the California Energy Commission reported significantly lower inventories of gasoline last week,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. "This time last year in Southern California, gas prices were breaking records almost every day due to inflation and higher oil prices in the ramp-up to the Russia-Ukraine war. Unfortunately, today’s average prices are very similar to this time last year because Southern California’s gas price averages remained well above $4 a gallon even at their lowest point of 2022.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club's Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Feb. 16, averages are:

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Media Contacts

Doug Shupe
LA-based media contact
(512) 659-1632
shupe.doug@aaa-calif.com
Anlleyn Venegas
San Diego-based media contact
(619) 565-4556
Venegas.Anlleyn@aaa-calif.com
CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Automobile Club of Southern California. All Rights Reserved.
The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.