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Tax Hike, Supply Issues Drive Up Gas Prices 20-25 Cents In Two Weeks

Oil barrels by Ian Burt
Photo by Ian Burt  

An unexpected surge in gasoline demand, higher oil prices, refinery maintenance and a 12-cent tax hike combined to create an unpleasant jump at the pump for local drivers, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The retail statewide average is $3.23 a gallon for regular unleaded – the highest average state price in the U.S., up 11 cents from a week ago and 20 cents higher than two weeks ago.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $3.31 per gallon, which is 15 cents more than last week, 25 cents higher than two weeks ago, 23 cents higher than last month, and 42 cents higher than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $3.28, 14 cents higher than a week ago, 23 cents more than last month, and 41 cents more than this time last year. On the Central Coast, the average price is $3.26, which is 12 cents higher than last week, 19 cents higher than last month, and 40 cents higher than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per-gallon price is $3.24, which is 14 cents higher than last week, 21 cents more than last month, and 42 cents more than at this time last year.

“Southern California gas prices are at their highest point in more than two years after the tax hike and an unusual fall surge in gasoline demand that lowered fuel inventories at the same time as refineries began performing delayed maintenance, reducing production,” said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring. “It appears, however, that wholesale prices have dropped from their peak on Friday and we are already starting to see fewer increases at local gas stations.”

The Auto Club recommends that consumers download the free AAA Mobile app to virtually shop around for the lowest gas price near them.

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




1-week change

Record Price

Los Angeles – Long Beach


 +15 cents

 $4.70 (10/9/12)





Orange County


 +12 cents

 $4.69 (10/8/12)





San Diego


 +14 cents

 $4.72 (10/8/12)





Santa Barbara – Santa Maria –Lompoc


 +12 cents

 $4.70 (6/21/08)


Riverside/San Bernardino


 +14 cents

 $4.68 (10/8/12)







 +15 cents

 $4.68 (10/7/12)







 +9 cents

 $4.64 (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.