CNS – The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline rose by a whopping 16.9 cents in Los Angeles County last week—and 17.8 cents in Orange County—amid sharp hikes in crude oil and wholesale gasoline prices, the Auto Club reported. The increases follow an 11.2-cent rise in Los Angeles County and a 14- cent increase in Orange County the previous week. The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular now stands at $3.368 in Los Angeles County—24 cents more than last month and 57 cents more than this time last year. The Orange County average is $3.329—22.8 cents more than last month and 56.6 cents more than this time last year.
“Southern Californians are used to seeing gas prices rise quickly in the springtime, but this three-penny-a-day level of price increases is usually seen in March or April,” said Jeffrey Spring, a spokesman for the Automobile Club of Southern California.
“San Diego is already within seven cents of its all-time record price, Santa Barbara is within eight cents, and most other areas are within 15 cents of breaking records. Oil industry analysts are saying that this spring’s price spike is primarily being driven by investors bidding up the price of wholesale gasoline and oil.”
The price of a barrel of oil surpassed $103 in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange last Friday before closing at $102.92. Experts have said the increase is the result of investors turning to crude oil futures because of the falling dollar.