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Gas Prices Back On The Climb As Refineries Prepare For Rising Temperatures

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Gas prices are squeezing the wallets of drivers once again.

AAA says the average price of a gallon of gas now tops $3.93 in L.A. County, with Orange County and the Inland Empire falling just short at about $3.92 a gallon.

KCAL9’s Adrianna Weingold reports it’s especially tough on those who make a living behind the wheel.

Adrian Perez uses between 300 and 400 gallons of gas per week for work – that adds up anywhere from $1200-$1600.

Perez, a truck driver at Penhall Rentals, says the recent uptick in gas prices is hitting him hard.

“There’s blue collar people like us that work and it’s hard for us,” Perez said.

Believe it or not, we’re actually not in bad shape this year. At this same time last year, the average price per gallon was $4.28.

Experts say drivers are seeing a more gradual price increase because refineries aren’t having the same problems they did in 2013.

Still, any increase is too much for Jonathan Tirado. He runs a transportation service driving patients to and from the hospital and spends about $200 dollars a week on gas.

“As long as there’s business it’s OK but you won’t make the same money,” Tirado said.

AAA says the increase is largely because refineries are already switching to a summer blend which is more expensive to make in part because components are added to the gas to help reduce evaporation in the heat.

“It’s rough but, it is what it is, what can you do about it?” Tirado shrugged.

Officials at the Automobile Club of Southern California said consumers can expect gas prices to continue to climb as we head into the summer months.

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