California Gas Prices Hit Average of $4, Highest in the State Since 2014

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California's gas prices continued to climb Wednesday, hitting the highest levels in almost five years.

Motorists throughout the Golden State are paying an average of $4.01 for a gallon of regular gasoline, by far the highest in the country and well above the national average of $2.83, according to a news release from AAA.

California hasn't seen gas prices this high since July 2014, the release stated.

The spike is blamed on the switchover from winter blend gasoline to the traditionally more expensive summer blend, as well as ongoing refinery issues.

Six of the state's 10 refineries have seen a reduction in output because of unexpected and planned maintenance, including at Chevron's in El Segundo and Marathon's in Los Angeles, according to AAA.

"As the refineries work to resume normal operations, California’s gasoline resupply has been helped by imports, which means increased transportation costs to distribute fuel to gas stations and more expensive prices for motorists," the release explained.

Since the start of April, gas prices have gone up an average of 40 cents in the state. Pump prices have climbed roughly 67 cents higher in one month.

On the positive side: one expert predicts that gas prices will spike in the next week before gradually decreasing.

"FINALLY some good news for #Californians hit hard by #gasprices- a peak is average prices may come in the next week or so before prices slowly start to recede following as market prices have started to drop noticeably," Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for the fuel pricing website GasBuddy.com, tweeted on Monday.

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