LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Soaring gas prices across the Southland hit a record high on Saturday.
In Los Angeles County, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded was $4.66 and just a penny less in Orange County.
Elsewhere, records were set. In the Inland Empire, a gallon of regular unleaded is $4.62 and $4.64 in Ventura.
Reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, Louisa Hodge says the price of regular unleaded gas rose 12 cents since Friday across California.
“This unfortunately is just a market-driven large increase of prices out there that everyone is just trying to make it through,” Kevin Chavez with Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs told KNX 1070.
Analysts say the higher prices are expected to stick around for the next couple of days but will then level off.
“I think we’re probably looking at five to six days before they start coming down,” said Jeffrey Spring, a spokesperson for AAA. “Already wholesale prices have dropped below $4 a gallon.”
But he concedes the price went up faster than it is likely to come down. “In one week, the price went up $.52 and that’s unprecedented.”
Meantime, more than a dozen Costco Wholesale Corp. gas stations had to close temporarily. A manager at a station in Northridge told Hodge that they had to travel to other locations, like Fresno, as a result of the refinery problems.
Along with those refinery problems, Spring also attributes the surge in gas prices to the shutdown of a Central Valley pipeline and low fuel inventory as stations switch from summer to winter blends.
Motorist Tearra Beckett told CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Joy Benedict, that cheaper gas in the Valley made Beckett go out of her way. “I probably drove a few more blocks before I got to this station,” she said. “But I’ve never seen the gas prices anywhere near this!”
To find low gas prices as well as the highest priced gas, discounts and specials, go to cbsla.com/gas.