The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County recorded its largest daily increase since at least 2008 on Thursday, rising 8.8 cents to $4.347—its highest amount since May 22.
Locals Feeling Pain at the Pump
Residents of Long Beach and surrounding areas were spending between $4.20 and $4.75 per gallon.
"These prices are mind-boggling," said Cerritos resident Sarah Kim. "I am trying to drive as little as possible to avoid having to fill-up my tank for another two weeks."
The average price has increased by more than 1 cent on each of the past six days and is 20.7 cents more than a week ago, 17.4 cents higher than a month ago and 51.4 cents greater than at this time last year, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
Just in the past two days, the average for self-serve regular has risen 14.6 cents in Los Angeles County.
The increases since Monday are the result of a power failure at the ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery which may cause it to flare gases for a week, reducing gasoline supplies, Marie Montgomery Nordhues of the Automobile Club of Southern California told City News Service.
Bob van der Valk, an independent petroleum industry analyst, told KNX radio, “Right now, gas stations are trying to wean out what they have of the 'summer blend.' There is absolutely none available.”
Several Costco stores throughout L.A. County were forced to shut down their gasoline pumps, and independent stations are turning away customers due to the shortage.
Refineries have already switched over to “winter blend,” which burns cleaner at cooler temperatures, but can't be sold in California because of clean-air rules until after Halloween.
— City News Service contributed to this report.
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