Gasoline Prices Across The Southland Rise Sharply

(FOX 11 / CNS) The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline Friday in Los Angeles County recorded its largest daily increase since May 1, rising 11.1 cents to $3.656.

From Hal Eisner:

If you got gas today your head may still be spinning from what you saw at the pump. It's especially tough for those with long commutes or families on vacation.

Tony Maldonado and his family are heading to San Pedro for some fishing and fun. Veronica Galbrecht and hers are off to Big Bear. When they started their vacations neither one had any idea gas prices had skyrocketed like 4th of July fireworks!

Thursday, at a Mobil in Santa Clarita, it was $3.73 a gallon for regular. 24 hours later it jumped to $4.45 a gallon. Maldonado says "that's crazy" while, Galbrecht calls it "horrific" and thinks the oil companies are "just trying to make money".

And, lots of drivers we spoke with at this station had the same suspicion.

Stacy Bland said, "I wonder where it goes honestly. Who's getting that money in their pocket." Rachelle Smith thinks it's greed. She says, it could be "because you've gotta drive. You can't get anywhere without transporting yourself so, if that's the case, then we can get them by paying for gas. They know we need it."

Lilly Douglas says she needs it. She's a real estate agent and uses a lot of gas and was shocked when her Mercedes SUV swallowed $85 dollars worth!

Almost everyone we met wanted to know why it's going up. We took that question to Jeff Spring with the Auto Club of Southern California. He says when supplies are down prices jump. On this spike, as little as 11 cents a gallon to nearly a dollar in some places and most major brands seem to be affected.

But, that doesn't help Ludy Rivera. Her boyfriend is out of work so, this weekend she's "not going to go anywhere."

And, as for Veronica Galbrecht's vacationing family it may be hot dogs at the condo in Big Bear. She says, "Instead of going out to dinner with the family we may have to just stay home and cook."

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The Orange County average price recorded its largest daily increase since Feb. 27, rising 12.8 cents to $3.625, according to figures from the AAA
and Oil Price Information Service.

Marie Montgomery of the Automobile Club of Southern California said she didn't have an explanation for the rapid price jumps. "We've seen many times before where the wholesale prices spike crazily and then very quickly go back down, so the hope is that this is what will happen here too, Montgomery told the Orange County Register.

"A panic is going on, then when the buyers (gas station owners) receive more balanced information, the prices go back down very quickly. It's good
for consumers that the retail prices don't move as often as the wholesale ones do, which can spike and bottom out, one day to the next."

The average price in Los Angeles County had dropped 48 of the previous 52 days. It is 10.3 cents more than one week ago but 6.5 cents less than a
month ago and 50.8 cents lower than one year ago.

The Orange County average price had dropped 50 of the previous 54 days. It is 13.5 cents more than one week ago but 1.4 cents less than a month ago and
52.2 cents lower than one year ago.

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