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SoCal Gas Prices Close Out Year As Highest in US

fifty and twenty dollar bills

Southern California gas price averages end 2015 as the highest in the US after a 30-cent spike this month, and for the first time on record, California is the state with the highest overall gas price average for the year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The retail state average is $2.851 a gallon for regular today, 7.1 cents more than last Thursday.


The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $3.054 per gallon, which is 9.6 cents higher than last week, 27 cents more than last month, and 40 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $3.034, which is 11.5 cents more than last week, 29 cents higher than last month, and 41 cents more than this time last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $2.995, 10.9 cents more than last week, 23 cents higher than a month ago, and 26 cents more than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per-gallon price is $2.997, 12.2 cents higher than last week, 28 cents more than last month, and 38 cents more than last year.


“In a year when the rest of the US experienced the lowest gas prices since 2009, Southern California unfortunately saw very little of that benefit,” said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring. “The Torrance refinery’s long-term closure beginning last February was likely the major factor in keeping price averages above $3 a gallon for most of 2015, and the cap-and-trade fees imposed on California gasoline this year also played a role.”


Southern California’s lowest 2015 gas price average was about $2.45 a gallon at the end of January. From there, they spiked to $4 a gallon in May after the Exxon-Mobil Torrance refinery sustained major damage from an explosion in February. There was another 75-cent spike during just one week in July when ships with needed gasoline imports diverted to other countries where prices were higher. In a year that saw record low oil prices of $35 to $45 a barrel, Southern California drivers spent one month of the year with gas price averages above $4 a gallon, with the highest average price of $4.30 a gallon reached on July 16.


The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on Dec. 31, averages are: 





Record Price

Los Angeles – Long Beach


      +9.6 cents  

    $4.705 (10/9/12)





Orange County


   +8.9 cents

  $4.690 (10/8/12)





San Diego


      +11.5 cents

  $4.725 (10/8/12)





Santa Barbara – Santa Maria –



      +10.9 cents

  $4.709 (6/21/08)





Riverside – San Bernardino


     +12.2 cents

  $4.688 (10/8/12)







     +11.0 cents

  $4.689 (10/7/12)







   +6.7 cents

  $4.648 (10/9/12)

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.