Southern California gasoline hits $4.18 a gallon, as local drivers pay record $1.43 more than U.S. average – Daily News

on Oct8
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Southern California gasoline prices rose again in the past week, creating a record gap between local and national pump prices.

In the week ended Oct. 7, the average price for all grades and all formulations of gasoline regionwide jumped 11 cents to $4.18 a gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency. A year ago, local gas was 37 cents cheaper.

Local drivers have suffered as local production problems came while refiners begin switching from cleaner-burning summer formulations to cheaper winter blends. Prices in the region that includes Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties plus parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties are up 70 cents a gallon in the past six weeks.

Meanwhile, gasoline prices nationally have been relatively steady in the same period. U.S. drivers paid an average $2.74 a gallon in the past week, flat over seven days and up just 8 cents over six weeks.

This divergence pushed the gap between Southern California and national prices to a record $1.43 a gallon — up 11 cents in a week and up 62 cents since Aug. 26. This week’s gap topped the previous high set in July 2015.

Pricey Southern California gas is nothing new, as the region has expensive refining costs, added expenses of clean-burning fuel, plus high state gas taxes. Still, local drivers this week are paying more than triple the normal spread with U.S. prices. Since 2000, Southern California gasoline averaged 39 cents more per gallon than the national price.

PS: This is more than a gas tax issue. California drivers pay 62 cents a gallon in state taxes and fees, after a 5.6-cent increase in July. Compare that to the national average of 36 cents, according to the American Petroleum Institute. By the way, 12 states increased gas taxes in July.

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