California breaks gasoline price record for second day

New York (CNN Business) – Gasoline prices in California hit $ 4,682 a gallon on Monday, setting a new record for the state for the second day in a row, according to the American Automobile Association.

Monday’s price for regular unleaded gasoline was six-tenths of a cent higher than the Sunday average reported by AAA, which broke the all-time record of US $ 4,671 previously set in October 2012.

America’s largest state by population has the highest gasoline prices in the country. The national average rose slightly to $ 3,415 on Monday.

The AAA noted that strong storms in northern California have reduced production capacity, which has moved to southern California, as happened in Louisiana with Hurricane Ida.

Gasoline price hits a new 7-year high 1:06

“It’s a bit of a supply shortage that we have now, nothing major, until the refineries in Northern California are back at full production capacity,” said Jeffrey Spring, Director of Corporate Communications for the Automobile Club of Southern California. .

Prices are nearing $ 5 in some areas, like Northern California’s Humboldt County, where the median price was $ 4.97 on Monday. In the bay area, the median price was over $ 4.85. AAA spokesman Doug Shupe said that while Californians are used to paying more for gas, the price has been much higher lately.

“Drivers are paying $ 1.50 more per gallon than a year ago,” Shupe told CNN. “It means that the person who has the typical midsize sedan with a 14-gallon fuel tank is paying $ 21 more to fill that tank today than last year.”

Shupe says that the main reasons for the price increase are the increase in oil prices and the demand suppressed by the pandemic.

“We usually see prices at the pump going down after Labor Day because people have finished their summer vacation. The kids go back to school,” Shupe said. “But this year people are still traveling. There is still that demand for fuel to get where people want to go.”

Gasoline prices have risen steadily throughout the year as demand for fuel grows around the world and suppliers have been unable – or unwilling – to produce more oil. Although US oil prices have risen more than 65% this year, US oil production is 14% below late 2019 levels, before COVID-19 broke out. 19.

US draws on emergency oil reserves 0:57

Gasoline prices have risen to their highest level in seven years, and Wall Street banks are warning that $ 100 or even $ 120 oil is on the way.

Prices have yet to stabilize, Spring said.

“What is happening in the Bay Area indicates that we may be on the cusp of this price increase, unless there are other problems,” said Spring. “So we hope that by the end of the year things will start to slow down.”

California hit its record price in 2012 after refinery failures sent prices skyrocketing for a few weeks before falling again.

CNN’s Andy Rose and Matt Egan contributed to this report.

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