The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County jumped up a shocking 14.9 cents Wednesday, bringing the new average to $6.108. The rise marks the largest increase since July 14, 2015, when prices rose by 15.1 cents, and is the highest L.A. has seen since this July 12, ABC7 reports.
This price has been rising for 26 consecutive days, with a total increase of 86.2 cents, including two significant jumps of 11.9 cents Tuesday and 11 cents Sunday, according to the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 56.3 cents higher than it was one week ago, 82.7 cents higher than one month ago, and an alarming $1.699 greater than one year ago.
This streak of hikes follows 78 decreases in 80 days, totaling $1.216. Though this new average is high, it doesn’t come close to the record high set on June 14 at $6.462—a 35.4 cent difference.
L.A. County is not the only area feeling the increase, however, as the Orange County average price also saw its steepest increase since July 14, 2015—15.7 cents at that time. OC saw a rise of $15.5 cents to $6.092, its highest price since July 9. This price has been on the rise for 11 of the past 12 days, increasing 70.8 cents, including 10.6 cents Tuesday and 14 cents Sunday. It is 57.2 cents more than the amount one week ago, 90.8 cents more than one month ago, and a troubling $1.725 higher than one year ago.
“A string of planned and unplanned refinery maintenance issues has severely tightened fuel supply in California,” Doug Shupe, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager told ABC7. “West Coast fuel inventories are at the lowest level in about a decade according to Energy Information Administration.
“Until the refineries are fully operational again, supply is going to be tight and will cause pump prices to be volatile,” he added.
Shupe also says that there may be “some relief,” as in November stations are again allowed to sell winter-blend gas, which is cheaper to produce.
Meanwhile, President Biden on Wednesday suggested to the nation’s oil barons that they not look at the natural calamity of Hurricane Ian as a growth opportunity.
Issuing what he called “a warning to oil and gas industry executives” at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, Biden said, “Do not—let me, repeat, do not—do not use this as an excuse to raise gasoline prices or gouge the American people.”
So we’ve got that going for us.