Gas Prices Rising at 'Alarming Rate:' Expert

UCAN expert says he hasn't seen price spikes like this since 2008.

By Lauren Steussy
|  Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012  |  Updated 6:57 AM PDT
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Gas Prices Reach $4 Per Gallon

If you've had to fill up lately, you know gas prices are rising fast in Southern California.
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Gas prices in San Diego went up 17 cents in the last week and almost 10 cents just over the weekend, a local expert said.

"It's a very disturbing and very alarming thing so suddenly at a time when demand is actually down," said Charles Langley with the consumer group, UCAN.

Langley links the reason for the spike in prices to market reaction. Recently, two major southern California barges underwent a planned maintence check. Though the refineries were prepared for any changes in supplies, the reaction from the markets was overly-cautious, Langley said.

"It's as if there was a refinery fire the way the markets are reacting," he said.

Langley added that he hasn't seen prices rise like this since 2008. And, he said, he has a hunch that they will continue to rise.

Meanwhile, a refinery fire in Washington is expected to drive up prices in Northern California. The pipelines from that refinery are not linked to any in San Diego -- however any shortage in the north could have a ripple effect on gas prices in Southern California.

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