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San Diego County Gasoline Price Falls From High For Year

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County fell three-tenths of a cent today to $3.164, a day after reaching a high for the year.

Despite the decrease, the average price is 2.1 cents more than a week ago, 5.3 cents higher than a month ago and 10.1 cents above this time last year, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

Eight increases in nine days ending Thursday pushed the price to $3.167, its high for the year.

"The latest pump price increases have resulted from higher crude prices, which oil industry analysts say were caused by a weakened dollar and some futures speculation that we could see a supply disruption during hurricane season," said Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

"However, crude oil prices have dropped this week in response to some bad economic news," he said. "It remains to be seen whether gas prices will follow suit."

The price of a barrel of benchmark crude oil for September delivery fell 35 cents in trading today on the New York Mercantile Exchange to settle at $75.39, the lowest in a month.

Crude oil costs account for two-thirds to three-quarters of the price of a gallon of gasoline, said Tupper Hull, vice president of strategic communications for the Western States Petroleum Association, a trade association representing major oil companies in six western states.

The national average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline fell six-tenths of a cent today to $2.77, a day after falling four-tenths of a cent.

The national average price is nine-tenths of a cent less than a week ago, but 5.7 cents higher than a month ago and 12.3 cents more than this time last year.

California's gasoline price is typically among the highest in the nation because of taxes and the state's "boutique blend" of fuel designed to reduce polluting emissions, according to the Auto Club.

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