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'Unexpected and planned maintenance' | Short supply has California gas prices on the rise

Right now, the average price for a gallon of gas in California is $5.79. A month ago, it was $5.28, and a year ago, it was $4.39.

LATHROP, Calif. — If you’ve noticed prices at the pump steadily rising, you are not alone. After a downturn in price, gas has suddenly jumped in cost again.

"Honestly, they're ridiculous compared to a lot of other places I go,” said Tevon Minich, who was filling up his pickup truck at the Power Market gas station in Lathrop.

Making his home in Pennsylvania, he escorts wide loads of cargo on freeways across the country, but he says his first trip to California will be his last.

"Most of the time, it cost me about anywhere between $80 to $100 to fill up. Out here, I ran last night a $185 fuel bill,” Minich said.

Right now, the average price for a gallon of gas in California is $5.79. A month ago, it was $5.28, and a year ago, it was $4.39.

Add in the fact that a barrel of benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil peaked at $120.51 on June 9. On Monday, it fell to just over $76.

"Right now, what we're having is unexpected and planned maintenance in California,” said John Treanor, spokesperson with AAA.

He says it's all leading to short supplies and higher prices.

"Oil refineries have to have maintenance and inspections every 3 to 5 years, so they plan this out. They take a whole oil refinery offline and allow them to be maintained and inspected,” Treanor said.

Even with a hybrid, it's costing Larry Hortillano more to commute back and forth from Lathrop to the Bay Area for work modifying suspensions on vehicles.

"It is what it is, but you have to make due,” Hortillano said.

Anyone who wants to save money while on the road can heed the following advice from AAA.

  • Combine your errands into one trip
  • Don't idle your car
  • Go the speed limit

As far as when prices will trend back down, AAA says once refineries are back up and running, the supply will hopefully go up and lower the prices at the pump. That being said, Treanor said it’s just too hard to speculate.


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