LOS ANGELES --- Gas prices spiked over the past week at a pace not seen since 2003, bringing new all-time price records that are more than a dollar higher than this time last year in most areas, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.339 per gallon, which is 22.7 cents more than last week, 44 cents higher than last month, and 98 cents above last year. In San Diego, the price is $4.375, which is 21 cents higher than last week's price, 44 cents above last month, and $1.03 higher than last year.
On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.415, up 18.3 cents from last week, 40 cents above last month, and 92 cents more than last year. In the Inland Empire, the average per gallon price is $4.345, 21.1 cents over last week, up 43 cents from last month, and $1.01 higher than last year.
"The last time that weekly gas prices rose by more than three cents a day locally was in August 2003, when several refinery outages and an Arizona gasoline pipeline shutdown caused a major supply issue," said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring. "Oil industry analysts say that California refineries have begun producing more diesel fuel and less gasoline, creating a need to import more costly unleaded fuel from out-of-state and overseas. There are a few rays of hope, however -– crude oil and California wholesale gasoline prices have dropped, and several Midwestern and Southern states have seen slight gas price decreases in the past week."