San Diego drivers react to spike in gas prices

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Tuesday 6:31 a.m.: The average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose again Tuesday. It increased 12 cents from Monday and is now at its highest amount since May 17, 2014.

The average is now at $4.156, the price has risen 65.7 cents since Thursday.

Monday 10:06 a.m.: Another sharp increase pushed the average price per gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County above $4 Monday for the first time in nearly a year. 

The 13.4 cent jump pushed the to $4.036, first time the average price per gallon has surpassed $4 since July 24, 2014, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. 

The average price rose 15.2 cents on Sunday, 16.7 cents on Saturday and 8.4 cents on Friday. It is 53.3 cents more than one week ago and 40.6 cents higher than a month ago. However, it is 6.8 cents less than one year ago.

According to Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California, the sharp increases are the result of inadequate supply to meet demand.   

Montgomery said, Southern California refineries didn't receive any shipments of foreign oil last week as they were outbid by competitors in Mexico and other areas. In order to make enough fuel to meet demand, they were forced to draw down inventories to their lowest levels in a year, which is up from last year.

The Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance remains offline because of an explosion in February. The operator is awaiting approval from the South Coast Air Quality Management District to use a refurbished piece of equipment.

The gasoline supply was further reduced because the Tesoro refinery in Carson is at least partly offline for annual maintenance, Montgomery said.

Saturday 8:14 p.m.: Gas prices have been on the rise in recent days.

The county average is now at about $3.88, almost a 40 cent increase from one week ago.

It's being labeled as "Revenge Pricing" by oil companies in retaliation to California's Greenhouse Gas Tax. That's the explanation from the Executive Director of Public Watchdogs, Charles Langley.

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