LA County gas prices near record

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County moved within three-tenths of a cent of the record Sunday, while the Orange County average price dropped one day after setting a record.

The Los Angeles County average price rose for the 30th consecutive day, increasing 1 cent to $6.459, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It has risen $1.213 over the past 30 days, including 6.6 cents Saturday and 15.3 cents Thursday, the largest daily increase since the record 19.2-cent hike on Oct. 5, 2012.

The average price is 66 cents more than one week ago and $2.048 higher than one year ago.

The 1-cent increase is the smallest since a half-cent increase Sept. 19.

The streak of increases follows a run of 78 decreases in 80 days totaling $1.216 that began June 15, one day after the average price rose to a record $6.462.

The Orange County average price dropped seven-tenths of a cent to $6.422, one day after it increased 4.3 cents to $6.429, breaking the previous record of $6.41 set on June 12.

Sunday's decrease ended a 12-day streak of increases totaling $1.033, including a 15.9-cent increase Thursday, the largest daily increase since the record 19.5-cent hike on Oct. 5, 2012.

The Orange County average price is 61.4 cents more than one week ago, $1.248 higher than one month ago, and $2.053 greater than one year ago.

Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a letter to the California Air Resources Board on Friday directing it to take whatever steps are necessary to allow refineries to begin making and distributing winter-blend gasoline, which is cheaper to produce.

Stations normally cannot start selling winter blend gas until Nov. 1.

"It is hard to know when this will impact gas prices," Marie Montgomery, a public relations specialist with the Automobile Club of Southern California, told City News Service. "It all depends how quickly logistics can be adjusted to get that supply in the pipeline and also how quickly refineries return from maintenance, but it should help to stop the steep increases."

An 11-day streak of increases to the national average price totaling 12.6 cents ended with a decrease of four-tenths of a cent to $3.796. It is 8.2 cents more than one week ago and 60.2 cents higher than one year ago but 1.3 cents less than one month ago.

The national average price is $1.22 less than the record $5.016 set June 14.

The streak of increases followed a 98-day streak of decreases totaling $1.342 that began the day after the record high was set.