LOS ANGELES — If you’ve driven by a gas station recently and experienced sticker shock, there’s a good reason. Gas prices in many parts of California are higher than they’ve been since 2012.
The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas is currently $4.33 per gallon. That's three cents higher than last week, nine cents higher than last month and $1.24 higher than last year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California Weekend Gas Watch.
In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.26. That’s three cents higher than last week, nine cents higher than last month, and $1.19 higher than last year. And in Bakersfield, the average price is $4.23 per gallon, which is three cents higher than last week, 12 cents higher than last month and $1.21 higher than a year ago.
The average price statewide is $4.30 per gallon.
“International oil producers such as OPEC can’t agree on production levels which causes uncertainty in the markets,” said Auto Club spokesman Jeffrey Spring. “Combined with continued strong summer demand, this ongoing, steady rise in prices has taken us to the highest average price in many areas since October 2012.”
According to the real-time fuel price website, GasBuddy.com, 46% of Americans’ plans for this summer have been affected by high gas prices. Still, 74% of Americans who plan to take a road trip this summer will take at least two of them, leading to further increases in demand and upward price pressure.
“With the economic recovery from COVID continuing, gasoline demand has been very strong,” GasBuddy petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan said in a statement, noting that gas prices have been higher this summer compared with the past few years. “Once market forces begin to balance, I expect prices to moderate this fall and over time, oil production will again rise, helping bring gas prices down to earth as soon as this fall, but the road may remain bumpy until the pandemic is behind us.”