Californians dreaming of a place where gas is cheaper
LOS ANGELES — Californians woke up to a shock on Friday as overnight gasoline prices jumped by as much as 20 cents a gallon in some areas, ending a week of soaring costs that caused some stations close and others to charge record prices.
The average price of regular gas across the state was nearly $4.49 a gallon, the highest in the nation, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge report.
In Southern California, the price jumped 20 cents a gallon overnight to $4.53 in Ventura. And in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area prices went up 19 cents to nearly $4.54. It wasn't any better to the north, as a gallon of regular gas in San Francisco averaged nearly $4.60.
In many areas, prices have jumped 40 cents in a week as refinery problems have created shortages. Some stations ran out of gas and shut down rather than pay those costs.
Even Costco Wholesale Corp., the giant discount store chain that sells large volumes of gas, decided to close some stations
“We do not know when we will be resupplied,” read a sign at one Southern California Costco, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Other gas stations charged more than $5 a gallon. The Low-P station in Calabasas charged $5.69 Thursday. The pumps bore hand-written signs reading, “We are sorry, it is not our fault,” the Times said.
While gas prices have spiked around the nation, refinery outages and pipeline problems have added to woes in California.
Among the recent disruptions, an Aug. 6 fire at a Chevron Corp. refinery in Richmond left one of the region's largest refineries producing at a reduced capacity, and a Chevron pipeline that moves crude to Northern California also was shut down.
A power failure affected an Exxon Mobil Corp. refinery in Torrance, but a company spokeswoman said Friday that the refinery has resumed normal operations and would be able to meet all of its contractual commitments.
The national average for gas is about $3.79 a gallon, the highest ever for this time of year. However, gas prices in many states have started decreasing.
Hawaii usually has the nation's most expensive gas, but California leapfrogged the Aloha State. The average price in Hawaii was about 8 cents a gallon less than in California.
In California, gasoline inventories are the lowest in more than 10 years — a situation made worse by the state's strict pollution limits that require a special blend of cleaner-burning gasoline during hot summer months.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.