By Mariela Limon |Staff Writer|
Gas prices have gone up nearly 60 cents in the last month in Southern California, making it one of the biggest spikes in recent time.
The increase in gas prices has made the national average price increase to $3.778 for regular and $4.074 for premium, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge report.
According to AAA’s Club of Southern California’s Weekend Gas Watch, “Southern California gas prices have now spiked by 57 cents or more in the past month – one of the biggest one-month jumps ever. The state average is $4.203 a gallon for regular today – 11.6 cents higher than last week.”
California is notorious for being one of the most priciest states for gas with the regular average being $4.203 and the premium coming in at $4.399 a gallon.
“In the Inland Empire, the average per-gallon price is $4.276, up 10.6 cents from last week, 58 cents higher than last month, and 23 cents more than last year,” according to Southern California’s AAA press release.
“Prices have now gone up even more than they did during the spike in October and the one last February, and more quickly than they did during any one-month stretch in 2008, when we had another big spike,” said Auto Club spokesperson Jeffrey Spring.
Gas prices have gone up for 35 consecutive days at about 50 cents nationwide in the last month.
Based on reports, prices have been skyrocketing because of the switch to the more expensive summer blend, high demand and refinery maintenance.
According to the Los Angeles Daily News, statewide production of gas topped 5.9 million barrels, but that was down 0.4 percent from the previous week and down the same amount from a year earlier.
“We’re not at 100 percent capacity as far as production. I know that Valero is having some issues at their Wilmington refinery, but none of these things seem catastrophic in terms of what we’d normally see this time of year,” said Marie Montgomery, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California.
The Los Angeles Times reports that, “Big-money investment speculation, from hedge fund and commodity pools, has also soared in recent months, based on bets that the price of oil and gasoline would rise.”
Some areas in Los Angeles are now paying close to what people in Maui, one of the nation’s highest gas price areas, are paying.
CSUSB students who commute to school have been noticing the change and are feeling the pinch in their pockets.
“They’re too high,” said student Letty Orellana. “I have to come to school everyday and put gas two to three times a week. Its really hurting my pocket.”
In the areas around campus, the lowest price you can get is $4.19 at the Arco on University Parkway.
“I don’t like it. They should have specials for students,” said student Dana Rivas.
Some of the commuter students who are confined to gas guzzling vehicles are having to pay a substantial amount to get to school.
“My car is a gas guzzler! I spend over $50.00 a week to get to school,” said Aunjolay Lambert. “I’m a college student on a budget, its disappointing.”