Gas prices in California skyrocketed Friday and experts predict another spike over the weekend that could potentially shatter a record-high reached back in the summer of 2008.
Local gas stations put up prices as high as $5.59 per gallon Friday and commuters shocked. Still, many rushed to fill up their tanks Friday night for fear of prices soaring again over the weekend.
“It's ridiculous. Over the week it went so much [higher]," said local Uzuki Kreamer.
Stunned locals sounded off on NBC 7’s Facebook page about the price spikes. Some reported paying $4.99, $5.19 and even $5.49 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline at places around the county.
Consumer advocate Charles Langley of UCAN has been monitoring gas prices in San Diego County for 15 years and is also taken aback by the sudden, significant price hikes this week.
"[This is] the first time we've seen [gas prices go up] 20 cents in a day, the first time we've seen 40 cents in the week, the first time we've seen 75 cents at the wholesale level. This is an outrage and it smells of market manipulation,” said Langley.
He questions the excuses from oil companies about recent refinery glitches which have slowed production.
"This looks very very suspicious; this stinks like a Bolivian fish barrel,” he added.
Langley said the best advice he can give consumers is simple: don’t drive too much over the next week -- and make a phone call.
"Call the Attorney General and say we need someone to check these claims of broken malfunctioning pipelines. None of it passes the smell test,” said Langley.
The all-time record high for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in San Diego County is $4.63 – which was set in 2008.
Experts say consumers shouldn’t be surprised if the record is broken by Monday.
The price spikes come after a dramatic increase in wholesale prices for fuel.