Gas Prices in L.A. Continue to Spike, Surpassing Previous Averages

Elgin Nelson

Gas prices in California continue to rise as the average gasoline price currently sits at $5.38, surpassing the national average of $3.61. In L.A. County, the average cost per gallon of regular gas has reached $5.40, marking a 28-day consecutive increase.

“Currently, the average gas price nationwide is around $3.64. Locally here in California, we are looking at about $5.46. That was an 11 cent increase in California from last week,” Ghiglino said.

In Los Angeles, gas prices have either increased or remained flat since Dec. 23, said Doug Shupe, a spokesperson for AAA of Southern California. He said prices bottomed out at $4.43 the day before Christmas Eve, and haven’t fallen since then.

With prices spiking notably in the past week, questions about prices being affected due to heightened tensions in the Middle East could exacerbate the already high costs.

“A lot of Southern California’s issues are not directly impacted by conflict and war. Here, it’s more about local refineries,” a (AAA) representative said.

“However, if there is an escalation of war like we saw with the Ukraine and Russia war, that did actually impact gas prices. So while we can’t say – it’s too early to tell – it has absolutely happened in the past.”

At the local level, California’s transition from winter to summer gasoline blends could be the main reason that has contributed to the price surge. Mandated by environmental regulators, the summer blend aims for reduced evaporation, necessitating costly adjustments by refiners.

On a global scale, disruptions like attacks on Red Sea commercial ships, production cuts in various countries, and Ukraine’s actions against Russian oil facilities amid ongoing conflict have driven oil prices up, noted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration and AAA.

Elevated oil prices translate to higher gas prices, compounding existing inflation concerns, which have already exceeded projections this year. While current oil prices show no immediate spike, future developments remain uncertain.

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