LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Soaring gas prices are giving drivers a new round of pain at the pump.
The average price for a gallon of gas in the LA-Long Beach area has jumped to $4.25 a gallon, which is up six cents from Thursday, and 25 cents from a week ago.
Prices in the Southland are as high as $5.09 at a Chevron station in downtown Los Angeles, while Burbank’s Fleet Fueling is still at $3.70 a gallon.
It’s not unusual to have price jumps in February, but AAA and the Oil Price Information Service say gas prices were already at record highs.
Analysts say we’re seeing some of the biggest short-term increases ever due to due to escalating tensions with Iran over its nuclear program, as well as the closings of several California refineries for maintenance.
Speculators are also driving prices up, but they are expected to even out, as motorists simply cannot support the increases.
In fact, USA Today reports that during past month, consumption fell to its lowest level since April of 1997.