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Bah Humbug! Gas Prices Spike Before Christmas

Gilmore Gas
Photo by Stefanus Prayitno

Multiple refinery outages in Southern California have created a local supply issue that sent pump prices soaring back toward $3 a gallon in the last week just as 7.8 million residents began setting out on their holiday travels, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The retail state average is $2.78 a gallon for regular today, 13.4 cents more than last Thursday.


The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $2.958 per gallon, which is 21.1 cents higher than last week, 15 cents more than last month, and 23 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $2.919, which is 20.3 cents more than last week, 15 cents higher than last month, and 22 cents more than this time last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.886, 19.3 cents more than last week, 10 cents higher than a month ago, and 7 cents more than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per-gallon price is $2.875, 20.2 cents higher than last week, 13 cents more than last month, and 19 cents more than last year.


“While the rest of the country is enjoying the lowest gas prices since 2009, Southern California is once again experiencing local supply problems reportedly due to unplanned maintenance at the Tesoro refineries in Wilmington and Carson as well as one in Northern California and one in Washington state that supplies California,” said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring. “The Auto Club recommends aggressively shopping around for the best gas prices using tools such as the free AAA app, which provides real-time gas prices at local stations.”


The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Dec. 24, averages are: 





Record Price

Los Angeles – Long Beach


+21.1 cents  

  $4.705 (10/9/12)





Orange County


+23.3 cents

  $4.690 (10/8/12)





San Diego


+20.3 cents

  $4.725 (10/8/12)





Santa Barbara – Santa Maria –



+19.3 cents

  $4.709 (6/21/08)





Riverside – San Bernardino


+20.2 cents

  $4.688 (10/8/12)







+21.2 cents

  $4.689 (10/7/12)







+3.5 cents

$4.648 (10/9/12)

Media Contacts

Marie Montgomery
(714) 420-0477 (cell)
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.