San Diego Gas Priciest in Nation

Price of crude oil prices is driving factor, analyst says

By Lauren Steussy
|  Monday, Feb 27, 2012  |  Updated 10:49 AM PDT
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Gas Prices Prompt Sacrifices

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Gas Prices Prompt Sacrifices

The average price of gas in San Diego rose 17 cents in two days according to AAA. Consumers Richard Costida, Randy Rechs and Lilly Montano tell NBC 7's Chris Chan they are giving up things because of the rising price of gas.
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San Diego motorists are paying the nation's highest gasoline prices -- $4.31 per gallon.

That's according to the Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday, which puts the average price of a gallon of regular in California at $4.18.

In San Diego, prices rose 7 cents from Sunday to Monday. Last week, the average in San Diego was $4.07, according to the consumer advocate group UCAN.

Statewide, the llowest average price was $4.05 in Fresno. The national average was $3.69.

Analyst Trilby Lundberg says rising crude oil prices is the main factor driving the increase.

The near-month contract for the benchmark grade crude closed at just under $110 a barrel last week, and Lundberg says if oil prices stay that high, pump prices could go even higher.

Other factors for the alarming rise in Southern California gas prices include market reaction to scheduled maintenance checks at local refineries, as well as an "unplanned flaring" at a Carson refinery.

The combination of these circumstances, along with the cost of crude oil makes for a perfect storm of skyrocketing gas prices, according to Charles Langley of the consumer advocate group, UCAN.

"Oil prices will be the biggest factor in the long-run," Langley said on Monday morning.

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