LOS ANGELES - Once again prices at the pump in Southern California continue to rise. After a pandemic pause in 2020, gas prices are now hitting their highest levels since November of 2019.
"It’s ridiculous! Back east and in the Midwest it’s a dollar cheaper," said Brentwood resident Barry Yukon.
"It’s the Golden State gouge... We always pay over 70 cents more than the rest of America," stated Jamie Court with Consumer Watchdog.
In places like West Los Angeles prices are nearing the $5 mark for a gallon of premium.
Consumer Watchdog advocate Jamie Court explains why.
"There‘s four refiners that control 80% of the market. They squeeze when they can and we pay more."
Court says there is a higher demand due to more post-pandemic driving, reduced output from local refineries and less supply from OPEC.
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of unleaded in Los Angeles now stands at $3.93.That’s 69 cents higher than a year ago. Further east in Rosemead gas is selling for $3.85 a gallon. And in San Bernardino, an Arco station looks like a bargain at $3.49.
Consumer Watchdog says don’t expect pump prices to get better anytime soon as we head into summer.
"The companies are going to use this opportunity to make as much money as possible until the government comes down on them and we really do need the government to come down on them we need the attorney general to file more anti-trust cases we need better regulations in this market we just haven’t had that in California," Court mentioned.