The average gas price in California surpassed $4 per gallon over the weekend, with experts blaming low production by local refineries and a lack of imported fuel to compensate for it.
AAA listed the following averages for regular gasoline in Southern California on Monday:
- Los Angeles-Long Beach: $4.1117, up from $3.799 the previous week
- Orange County: $4.094, up from $3.754 the previous week
- Riverside: $4.028, up from $3.702 the previous week
- San Bernardino: $4.039, up from $3.727 the previous week
- San Diego: $4.071, up from $3.754 the previous week
- Ventura: 4.075, up from $3.779 the previous week
“Unplanned maintenance issues at the Chevron and Marathon refineries in Los Angeles County are the primary reason," AAA spokesman Jeffrey Spring said last week of the expected hike.
Southern California did not receive any imported gasoline in recent days, exacerbating the hikes that started after the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure earlier in September, Spring said. (The U.S. has blamed those attacks on Iran, which denied the accusations.)
Other experts also cited recent gas tax hikes in the state.
"Keep in mind, without the gas tax increases that California has seen the past few years, prices would be noticeably lower," said Patrick DeHaan, who heads petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.com.
While the current national average, $2.654, pales in comparison to California's $4.029 average, prices in the state are still well under the record set in October 2012, when the price for regular unleaded gas in California averaged $4.671, according to AAA.