It’s a record that drivers in Southern California were hoping would stay unbroken: gas prices are now at all-time highs in Los Angeles County and Riverside County.
The new record in LA breaks the one set in June of this year, the last time the average price of a gallon of gasoline skyrocketed.
Here’s a look at the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline around Southern California on Monday, according to AAA:
- Los Angeles County: $6.467
- Orange County: $6.425
- Ventura County: $6.409
- San Bernardino County: $6.320
- Riverside County: $6.331
And because those prices are averages, individual gas stations may be selling gasoline for much higher prices. In Santa Clarita, one Shell station was selling regular unleaded gasoline for $6.69.
One year ago on Oct. 3, 2021, gasoline was $4.42 per gallon in LA County — over $2 cheaper than it is Monday.
And one year ago in Riverside County, prices were exactly $2 cheaper, at $4.33 per gallon.
The reasons for the skyrocketing prices are complicated.
Part of the problem, according to AAA, is that California doesn’t have as many oil refineries working as it used to, with maintenance upgrades putting a number of refineries out of commission.
But according to Consumer Watchdog, a group based out of Santa Monica, California is getting hit with high prices on purpose, due to state legislation that will force gas companies to publically share their monthly profits. On Sept. 27, the organization asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to call a special session over the high gas prices.
On Friday, Newsom sent a letter to the California Air Resources Board, 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, but Newsom’s request might bring the winter-blend gas to Californians sooner.
With a state average price of $6.382 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, California drivers could use the relief, especially since that sky-high price is almost three dollars higher than the national average of $3.799.